Not one full week passes that I don’t hear about the toxicity of social media. Persons will go on and on, complaining that social media is bad for your health and that we are better off without it. However, maybe you should ask yourself, “Is social media really bad? Or am I the one using it badly.” There’s so much that social media has to offer, and, while there are many trending topics and selected posts that are strategically placed for us to see, we still have the ability to choose what we want or don’t want to see. Essentially, we have the ability to decide how social media affects our lives.
The Unfollow Button Is Not Just Decoration
You are under no oath to continue following anyone. If you find that you’re jealous of people that you follow and are yearning for a life like the one that they portray on social media, unfollow them. This does nothing but lower your self-confidence and self-esteem. Even when you leave social media, you find that you are always comparing yourself to these persons and measuring your life against the ones that they portray on social media. Y
You already know who those people in your following list(s) are. Go ahead and unfollow them. The saying, “out of sight, out of mind,” applies here. You’ll find that, eventually, you’ll just accept and enjoy yourself as you are. Before you know it, that person you unfollowed will only be a fleeting memory with little effect on how you feel about yourself. You can then go on to actively and continuously practise gratefulness for your life, the things in it, and your accomplishments.
Block And Delete!
Don’t be afraid to completely remove persons who have proven to bring nothing positive to your life. You don’t need any extra stress on your plate. The ‘block’ feature was placed there to be used. There are persons across social media platforms who continuously upset you, whether through their posts or the conversations that they try to engage in your direct messages.
If you have tried ignoring them or explicitly communicating your dissatisfaction with their presence on your social media platforms and the problem persists, do not hesitate to block them. If the person has no solid relationship with you, then you can just go right ahead and block them. These people have nothing of worth to contribute to your life yet they still trigger negative feelings within you. Block them and move on with your life with one less weight on your back.
If you really don’t want to block individuals, some platforms also have the option to block keywords. You can ‘mute’ certain content too. You’ll still be a follower, but you simply won’t stumble across the content that you’ve muted.
Follow With Care
Follow the right pages and speak to the right people. “Right” will mean different things to different people. The idea is to be mindful of who you engage with. What areas of your life are in need of development? What kind of content on social media normally makes you feel happy and good about yourself? How can you get inspiration and motivation for your professional or academic life? Who can you make connections with? How can you use social media to expand and improve my business or service? What kind of content makes you laugh and puts you in a good mood?
It’s content like this that you should seek more of; content that will add to your life and make you feel more wholesome. This will also add to your overall development as an individual. If you suffer from stress or diagnosed mental illnesses, there are many attractive pages and hashtags offering support and advice to follow. Follow pages with content that motivates you to want to be successful and to be the best version of yourself. Social media is a huge space with many different topics to pick, choose, and refuse. It is up to you to use it wisely and for your benefit.
Keep Your Peace and Leave the Arguments
Avoid arguments. Many persons abuse social media because of their anonymity and the lack of face to face interaction. They will say and post anything because they see it as a digital platform on which there are no consequences for their actions and no immediate way to trace their activity back to them. They abuse the freedom which social media allows. As a result, they post inconsiderately, speaking and acting offensively. Don’t fall into these traps.
There are millions of things to see and engage in on social media. We can simply choose not to see this particular content anymore. Instead, actually pick out what we want to see and move on with our lives. When you argue with individuals on social media, the prospect of proving your point, and winning the argument might seem thrilling. However, in the end, they will have moved on with only their offensive content being flagged as inappropriate or removed, or have their account temporarily suspended. You then continue the rest of your day or, for the next few days, upset and riled up about whatever it is that you were arguing about.
Your opinions and beliefs should mostly mean something to you. Don’t sap your energy trying to convince others to share your beliefs. Furthermore, there are individuals on social media who are simply ignorant and rude, so you don’t need to let them string you along. As Mark Twain said, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” If it is a case where you’re sure that this can be a constructive and meaningful argument, take a shot, but don’t be afraid to just leave the conversation if it gets too negative for you. You are not obligated to participate in anything or to answer anyone.
Curate Your Social Media Space
Social media is a space with so much to offer. Don’t spend time complaining about its toxicity because, at the end of the day, you have the power to hand-pick the content that you come across. If you don’t take control of what social media offers you, it can contribute to the deterioration of your overall mental health and emotional well-being. Choose the right people to follow and to speak to. Focus on using social media for your benefit.
Too many of us allow negativity to become the norm in our timelines and inboxes. There are some things that we will still encounter but, for the most part, we are in control of what we see. Of course, if you don’t make an effort to stop seeing whatever it is that makes you unhappy, you will continue to see it. The solution to this problem is literally a click away. However, if you genuinely feel as though social media has become way too toxic and addictive for you, leave it. Deactivate your account(s) and delete the app(s). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing that. Just be sure that whatever you do will benefit you and your overall health.
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