The topic of our #TuesdayThoughts this week was ‘The Influence of Social Media’. We looked at how it changes our perception of people and the effects of it in our everyday lives. In line with this, we’re bringing you 6 ways that you can practice self-care in the face of the more stressful aspects of social media.

The amount of time we spend online averages out to around 2 hours per day, with that number being much higher for those aged 16-25. The constant awareness of current affairs, keeping up with the latest celebrities and posting every little thing about our day can become taxing, even unhealthy. Here’s how to keep your sanity despite the flux of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat.

Switch off
Possibly the simplest of all of them. Or the hardest. Signing out and going offline, even for a few hours a day can help you to refresh. Having a break from hearing about everyone’s opinions enables you to take a breather. Of course, screen addiction isn’t quite as easy to break away from. Starting off by not looking at your phone for the half hour before you go to bed might do the trick and help you sleep better!

Talk about it
If you’ve seen something or heard something that’s taken a toll, speak to a friend about what you’re dealing with. More often than not, people will have consumed the same information as you. It might have had the same effect, and if not, communication is still a great way to lighten the load (and get in some quality time with a friend!).

Read the news
Don’t worry too much about using social media as a news source and read a physical newspaper! Taking the time to actively hear the news from a different media can be a good way of focusing less of every single person’s opinion. You get to hear about the headlines, be informed in a different way to the bite-sized snippets we’re accustomed to through news and information apps.

Vary what you’re spending your time on when online. You can use apps for things other than social connection. Meditation apps like Headspace and Calm are a good way to relax and reflect if you’ve been overwhelmed by the headlines and opinions.

Be brutal about who you want to see and who doesn’t quite cut it. Do you actually feel happy with every single account you follow? If they haven’t brought a smile to your face in a while, maybe it’s time to unfollow and see what could be better suited to your way of consuming information.

Be Creative
Choose a physical expression of creativity outside of things related to Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. Remember they’re platforms that you use for yourself. Take from it what you will and find a different way to get creative without worrying about memes, trends and hashtags.

By Riya Rana


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