Last week I spoke on a panel at BlogHer covering mental health and social media, a topic I talk about a lot here but one that can’t be covered enough, in my opinion. Especially with the rapid rising rate of depression and suicide in teens and young adults.
With the over consumption of “highlight reels” on social media comes a real struggle with comparison, FOMO and feeling less than. I don’t think anyone is immune to these feelings, myself included. So, I wanted to share an updated post on some of my ‘tech health’ tips. These tips help me create boundaries with my phone and ultimately make me feel good (most of the time) when using social media because what I seek from the platform is inspiration and positivity. Here’s how I help achieve that:
1. Cleanse your feed
When you scroll through your feed, are there accounts that you follow that give you negative thoughts or alter your mood for the worse? If you don’t need to follow those accounts because they aren’t personal friends who follow you back, get rid of them! Cleanse your feed on a regular basis to create the most positive social experience you can have by unfollowing those that don’t serve you and following those that do.
We’ve talked about the mute function on Instagram before – it simply allows you to hide people’s photos and stories from your feed, and it’s something I’m a big advocate for. Unfollowing can often feel harsh when it comes to personal relationships and can cause hurt feelings/drama with others. If you find yourself unable to unfollow for personal reasons, try using the mute function. You can always unmute when you feel like you’re ready to welcome them back into your feed.
3. Screen time app
If you’ve never looked at your screen time app, stop what you’re doing and do it now! It’s such informative info and beyond that, you can set time limits for apps. I personally have a daily time limit for Instagram.
4. Turn comparison into drive and gratitude
Comparison and competition can be a very healthy experience but it can also make you feel not so good, too. When scrolling through social, if you find yourself comparing yourself to others in a way that is harmful to your mental health, try turning that around by turning comparison into gratitude.
5. Limit phone use in general
I strive to keep my phone not only out of my hands but out of sight while I’m with my family, one hour before bedtime, and for at least the first half hour when I wake up. It’s not always doable, but setting these boundaries helps make it more achievable.
What are your tech health tips?