Healthier Ways to Use Social Media
If you’re like most Americans, you use social media a lot. Social media use has been on the rise for more than a decade, and today, nearly 70% of all Americans use some form of social media. Unfortunately, this is not always a good thing: research shows that, in many ways, social media use may be hurting us.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. By changing some of your social media habits and learning to use social media in a healthier way, you can get more out of the technology, which dominates so much of our daily lives.
Why social media isn’t good for you
We don’t know everything about how social media affects us, but a lot of what we do know is not always positive. Social media takes our experiences and invites us to share these experiences, but it also tempts us to compare those experiences with other people’s experiences. We get a false view into other individuals’ lives from their carefully curated social media presences, and we take things that we might normally treasure — such as photos of our latest vacation or pictures of us enjoying time with friends — and give them a more fleeting platform than they might have had back in the days of photo albums and framed pictures.
But social media can be a powerful tool. Here are some ways to harness the positive aspects of social media while fighting back against the bad effects.
Use social media for real-life ends
Why can’t you push yourself to delete these social media platforms? There are different reasons, but a common one is that we feel we won’t be able to stay in touch with friends if we delete our Facebook page or other social media pages. We’ll miss out on invitations to parties, or we’ll fail to chat with pals outside of the app.
Here’s one way to make social media work for you: put your money where your mouth is and use social media to stay in touch with friends. Specifically, use the events features or chat features to set up real-life meet-ups and plan real-life parties. Social media may be a mixed bag, but socializing is good for you!
Turn social media posts into real-life art
Part of the problem with social media is that it turns such important memories into fleeting things. When was the last time you went back through your own Facebook or Instagram photos? After a while, your best photographs and posts are distant memories, buried by the new stuff.
You can fight that drain on your memories by turning your favorite posts into more permanent things. If you write meaningful text posts, consider getting some of them printed in a book of memories. If you have wonderful photos on your Instagram feed, turn to print services to turn those photos into more permanent pieces of art. You can order custom canvas prints online made from your favorite photos. These sorts of affordable prints will make your posts into something that you can be proud to hang on your wall. And when your photos are on display, you’ll enjoy those memories and feelings. Instead of seeing your photo on a tiny display alongside other people’s competing memories, you’ll see it on its own and in a place of honor.
Practice moderation: put your real-life experience first
It sounds obvious, but one of the best ways to enjoy social media responsibly is to practice moderation.
In particular, you should think about how hard you work to commemorate and share experiences. If you’re spending a good portion of your night Snapchatting, you’re not really being present and enjoying the moment. Try to cut back the ways in which you document your experiences while they’re happening. Posting about a great night after the fact is different from interrupting that life experience with constant posting — and it’s healthier, too.
We hope you enjoyed this promoted piece as much as we did!