Social media

Social media stressing you out? Here's some of the pros and cons!

April 27, 2018

We all know the dangers of the online world – internet trolls, potential predators lurking on the internet and the physical impact of staring at a phone all day! Recently there’s been talk over how social media can damage our mental health.

A study by the Children’s Commissioner for England recognised that more should be done to help young people gain skills in ‘digital literacy’. It says there are several key messages to keep in mind to help your mental health!

  • Be yourself – don’t change your attitude and personality in order to gain ‘likes’ and approval.
  • Be critical of what you see on social media – not only are you constantly being advertised to, but be critical of the people who inspire you!
  • Learn to have an awareness of the differences between curated, often digitally altered images and real lives!
  • Understand the tricks that social media sites employ in order to keep you engaged.
  • Recognise the power of peer pressure on social media and how you can switch off, and encourage friends to do the same!
  • Take part in other activities!

 

Being yourself

It’s vital to remember to keep to your own values and morals when online. The internet allows us to speak freely without worrying about having a filter, and so we worry less about what people think about us. In some ways this is a good thing!  We can be more ‘ourselves’ than ever.

However, and this can happen to everyone, sometimes we get sucked into an ‘online persona’ where we get a desire for likes and follows – which can turn into a tremendously unhealthy obsession. Trying to please everyone is a recipe for disaster, so it’s important to do things for our own enjoyment!

 

Taking part in other activities

A 2015 study said we spent 27 hours a week on the Internet. That’s quite a significant amount of time to spend online, think of what you could be doing with that time!

We have articles on activities here in Swindon, find out more here:

https://thedockswindon.co.uk/get-active/

https://thedockswindon.co.uk/inactivity/

 

Cutting down on social media

With these points in mind, these are some potential ways that you might want to cut down on social media usage! Using “Four R’s,” Retire, Reflect, Reward and Replace, these suggestions might help you cut down!

 

It’s not all bad!

Although we’ve discussed a lot of the negatives of social media, there are some very clear benefits too:

  • Instant connectivity and messaging – this is a reason a lot of people give when not giving up social media. Although it doesn’t necessarily mean the end of talking to far away friends, social media allows us to keep in contact with distant friends and family!
  • More awareness of the world around us – we’re able to find out global news and a huge variety of opinions.
  • Learning – From public speaking to complex science, shows like TED talks and YouTube channels like Vsauce can inform audiences of millions about a variety of topics you wouldn’t have found out about without social media. I’m a fan of history and I had no idea what Zone Rouge was until Twitter.
  • Cute animals – twitter pages like this are wonderful and I will cherish them forever.
  • Inspire more creativity – the internet loves memes, what’s more, the internet loves NEW memes. Keep making new memes for me to laugh at, I would link my favourites but in a week’s time they’ll be old memes. It’s great that people are finding creative ways to entertain eachother, as long as you make time for yourself as well.

Social media can be great, do you think you could cut it out entirely? Or maybe you can take a few steps to use it a little less so you can focus a bit more on yourself!

Not ready to quit social media anytime soon? We’re active on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook:

 

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