When we hear the words social media we think about the curated images of people projecting a false sense of reality, their shiny pretty photographs triggering feelings of self doubt, propelling us into the never healthy state of comparison. Their lives look so unwaveringly joy filled, they ooze success, beauty and adventure. We think to ourselves; I want what they’re having! On the flip side it can also be an environment which breeds connection, helps form communities of like minded people, launch small businesses and birth important social movements. There is a duality in social media, both good and bad. Your mission is to filter out the bad and lean in to the good otherwise it can be a platform that slowly erodes your mental health.
Personally I try to limit my exposure to social media, we refrain from going on it in front of the kids and usually I will either spend time perusing the platform in the early morning or after the kids are asleep. I’ve had moments in my life, depending on where I’m at and what’s happening in my world, where I need to take a break from social. I quietly dip out until I feel the need to trial an Instagram reimmersion. I take it slowly and monitor how I feel while using the platform.
One of the best tools on Instagram in my opinion is the “mute post and stories” option and with that one, I get very tap happy! Often I’ll go through the pages I’m following and filter through the ones I enjoy, learn from, feel inspired by and like interacting with and the remaining pages I choose to either mute them or unfollow depending on my relationship with the poster. An “unfollow” of an acquaintance can oftentimes give out a message that can be misconstrued so that’s why I find the mute button invaluable, that way no one needs to know!
On the plus side I have been able to use my platform to share all sides of myself; the vulnerable, the imperfect and to be my most revealing self- breaking the facade of what a ‘celebrity’ might be like. I have made connections with people all over the world that I wouldn’t otherwise meet. Social movements and their information are so readily available through the platform, I’ve fundraised for families in need on Instagram and our small start up Lovewell has been introduced to the world through social media. Oh and there’s also the fact that Twitter is how I met my husband! Social media can be polarising, but it can also be uplifting, provide comfort to those feeling isolated and inspire connection with people from all walks of life. Establish those healthy boundaries and reap the benefits of conscious social media usage.