A young Black woman scrolls through her mobile phone.
Health + Wellness

How To Maintain Your Social Media Health

Many of us spend enough time on social media to know it can periodically deliver an adverse impact on our mental health; even going as far as affecting mood, self-esteem, anxiety and depression. So what can we do when social media becomes a focal point of negativity?

Whether it’s checking the news, notifications or keeping up-to-date with loved ones, social groups or networking; social media has many affirming qualities that entertain and keep us connected — it undoubtably comes into its own during pandemics when we’re at home socially isolating for public health.

It’s natural for us to seek out companionship from like-minded people; it helps prevent loneliness, improves our happiness and boosts our mental health. Connections are important, and aside from real physical interaction, social media can represent a practical tool to develop and/or maintain those relationships. However, if its usage begins to feel detrimental in any way; it may be time to take care of our social media health …

A graphic link to a post on Transatlantic Notes called More To Come: Letting Love In (Poem)

Take A Social Media Vacation | Every now and then it’s a good idea to completely take time away from social media. Aim for at least a weekend or better yet, a full week to do some self-care, spend time with loved ones or catch up on things you enjoy doing. Give yourself a mental reset by taking a break a few times a year.

Reduce Time Online | Take an honest look at how long you spend using social media each day; then reduce it by a third. Establish this as a new routine, and you’ll see how much more time you have to do other things — which doesn’t have to be centred on productivity; you can rest too. Set an alarm, make a timetable, turn your devices off at a certain point each day; manage whatever works for you to reduce your time online. You’ll likely find you enjoy more energy, better concentration and a healthier mentality that helps alleviate everyday stresses.

Adopt An Alternative Habit | We all reach for our phones to mindlessly scroll through social media, apps and other online delights when we’re bored/zoning out. For many — yes, I’m looking at myself too — it’s the go to time-filler when we could choose something else to relax or entertain ourselves with. Instead of disappearing into a scrolling social media black hole that interferes with family moments, downtime or work; consider something that engages the mind and makes you feel good. Grab a book to read, chat/play with your partner, kids or pets, make a cup of tea, listen to some music, try out a board game, etc.

photo by thom holmes of a man looking down at his mobile phone
photo via Thom Holmes/Unsplash

Practice Mindful Interactions | When you’re on social media it’s important to make sure you have clearly defined boundaries that you stick to. Don’t be shy about muting or unfollowing certain accounts or people that you find harmful, intrusive or inappropriate. Report anything that steps over a line for you and don’t be afraid to speak out, if appropriate, when this happens. You decide what you respond to or sustain the energy to engage with; including how much you share about yourself.

Support One Another | If you’re going to spend time online; you may as well add to the overall positivity of the experience for yourself and others by making sure your interactions are supportive and encouraging. It’s easy to become passive as we scroll through various feeds, but the people we follow may be sharing something heartfelt or valuable; take some time to be active and engaged, it feels good to give and receive a kindness boost.

What do you do to maintain your social media health?


Further Info:

6 Ways Social Media Negatively Affects Your Mental Health — The Independent

6 Ways To Protect Your Mental Health From Social Media’s Dangers — The Conversation

Covid-19 And Your Mental Health — The Mayo Clinic

66 thoughts on “How To Maintain Your Social Media Health”

  1. I don’t often have breaks from social media but I know I definitely should. I blindly scroll through Instagram and before I know it, I’ve closed the app and reopened a split second later. Thank you for sharing these amazing tips, I’ll have to take them on board x

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  2. Taking a social media break is something I’ve never done, but I should at least for a weekend!
    I am however reducing the time I’m on social media & spending more time with my boyfriend mainly watching Christmas movies haha

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    1. Taking a break from social media is really good — I usually do it over a weekend when I’m doing something special or just wanting to spend time with my husband. It makes it easier to do as I am focused on something really positive — Christmas movie watching with loved ones is so great right now, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Social media can really be addicting, it often takes a lot of my productivity, especially right now that most people are still in quarantine. Luckily for me I don’t find joy in it anymore like it did before, but back then I used to uninstall social media apps on my phone and I sometimes lock my phone in my drawer for the whole day to avoid being on social media. 😅

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  4. Great post! I also try to limit my social media usage, because I worked out how much time I was spending on social media and it was shocking. There are better things to spend my time on 🙂

    All the best, Michelle

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  5. Very useful reminders in here. I keep my boundaries by simply hiding posts or blocking accounts that upset me. I also give myself a timeline how long I can be on Twitter for example. It’s tempting to scroll for too long and then feel empty or angry. It’s much better to concentrate energy into meaningful interactions that make me feel better and more productive.

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    1. I agree — it’s so easy to get sucked into endless social media work/scrolling, etc when you have a blog. I think finding a balance is key — and I sometimes fail at that — but taking time off or reducing the amount of time spent online overall is a good thing to implement. Thanks for reading!

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  6. This was a much needed article especially in times when we over-indulge in social media. My part time work is completely based off social media and internet so I do keep in mind to take breaks whenever I can otherwise I would lose my interest in the real world.

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  7. These are such great tips, I definitely had to limit my Twitter time at the start of lockdown because the constant covid talk was stressing me out majorly and it all got too overwhelming. But it is a great place for relationships and communication as long as you’re mindful of how you’re using it x

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  8. So good! Thanks a lot for sharing. I can often feel my mental health declining on days when I spend a lot of time on social media.

    Toma

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  9. I love this! I’ve literally just deleted some of the social media apps off my phone because I knew I was starting to mindless scroll too much. I’m always in a better interaction space when I’m on my laptop, so just going to keep everything for when I’m on here rather than letting myself reach for my phone. Thanks for sharing some great tips – especially given that we do still need that connection this year.

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  10. Such a lovely post. We should all be more are of our social media health. I can be awful sometimes, just glued to my phone from 7am however times have changed and I’ve learnt to have days when I don’t. I just don’t feel like it some days and that’s okay. Lovely tips. I often pass time by scrolling tiktok and hours pass. its awful!

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    1. I have tried to move away from my phone being the first thing I grab to look at — it has easily become a habit that most of us do. I definitely still need to work on all this and can lose myself for a long time in mindless scrolling but when I stop and take time off I always feel better. Thanks for stopping by and reading!

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  11. Great tips here. I take a social media vacation for a full week twice a year. It’s a necessity! I’ve also just started not looking at my phone while I’m in bed which also helps. Although it’s been a little harder since I started blogging as social media is a big part of that!

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    1. Every now and then I take the weekend off and I find it just helps me feel so much better — I think no matter what someone’s usage, there is always a balance to find to make sure things remain positive. Thank you so much for reading!

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  12. Fantastic tips Molly! Social media really is a double edged sword isn’t it? I’ve been stepping away from it a lot more in my personal life I guess starting with the last presidential election. However, with my blog and starting an online business I’m on it a lot more in a professional capacity (if that makes sense). It actually seems to be working well for me. Although I still need to take breaks periodically as you mentioned. Thank you for the thoughtful post!

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    1. It definitely is a double edged sword! I use social media for my writing/work too but try to make sure I don’t get into mindless scrolling or be on it at all times of day. I set myself a timetable for it and so far it has made a big difference. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  13. Great post! I’ve taken a few breaks of social media especially this year and I’ve reduced my time on social media. I spend most of my time on social media for my blog.

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  14. This is a great post and some really good points. Social media is a huge part of our lives but it’s so important to recognize when our usage might be becoming unhealthy. There’s more to life than social media!

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  15. This is such a great post and an important message for everyone! I always think social media breaks are healthy. we need to get back to reality sometimes and just be present in our real lives. Great read!

    ~Brittany

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  16. This holiday season has been very difficult for me. Especially since I am away from my family. Being on social media doesn’t help. There are times when I feel like I have to stay up-to-date. That includes keeping my blog consistent. Since I’ve been having a tough time, I’ve had to take a couple of days, even longer than a week, to get back into the right mindset.

    Thanks for sharing your tips! I’ll have to try the other methods you mentioned.

    Valerie

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    1. Having a tough time certainly makes it okay that you can’t Do things in the same way you are used to doing (I feel you 100% on this). Being away from family also compounds anything we’re feeling at this times of year so don’t worry about needing time away from social media or your blog or for your schedule being sporadic. Getting your mindset right is the most important things here and finding a rhythm that helps you navigate whatever it is you’re going through is the right thing to do. I hope these tips will prove useful — sending you much love!

      Liked by 1 person

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