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Blaming Social Media For It’s Effects But What If It’s Just Us?

By Kelly Chok. |

Social media has always had a bad rep, from developing unrealistic expectations to having unhealthy sleeping patterns, we seem to always complain about the negative effects of social media. While it has become fashionable to demonize Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat as a source of all our problems. Social media has actually affected our lives for the better. Aside from enhancing connectivity, social media is now an important aspect of advertising, it reaches all ages and demographics and allows two-way communication between brands and consumers. Not only this, it helps to raise awareness and gives marginalized people a voice.

Sadly, the benefits are often largely overlooked. But is social media really to blame for our shortcomings?

It is time we self-reflect.

1. Is validation what we only seek for?

Your intention of using social media largely influences the effects these platforms have on you. If your goal is to connect with friends, share valuable content or get inspired by creatives, you will most likely reap the rewards. If, however, you aim to depend on social media as a source of validation, you might need to stop and reevaluate your social media habits. Social media can be as positive or toxic as you want it to be. We have to be intentional of our actions on social media. We must remember that we are in control of the accounts we follow, of our own jealousy and insecurities. We have a choice to filter negativity and to inspire our peers for the better.

2. Be in control of the content you want to see.

We should start taking control of ourselves, instead of letting social media control us. Leave social media if it starts getting too overwhelming, unfollow certain accounts if their content puts you in a bad mood, or even delete social media if you think it no longer serves a purpose. (You’d be surprised. You might not even have FOMO!) We can create a positive ground on social media by filtering out unwanted content. Trust me, it makes a huge difference without having to see constant negativity on your own feed. It is important that you do whatever it takes to keep your emotional hygiene in check and prioritize self-love. At the end of the day, Mark Zuckerberg isn’t going to save you from feeling miserable.

Your Instagram or Facebook feed will look much cleaner. You will start to feel the difference. Your day might seem a little brighter without all the toxicity. Follow accounts that you actually like. For instance, The Financial Diet and Girlboss are great Instagram communities that connect like-minded people. The Financial Diet shares content on ‘millennial financial advices’ while Girlboss offers quality content ranging from motivational quotes to inspirational insights on entrepreneurship for female. Bottom line, catering your feed based on your interests and following accounts that exude positivity are keys to maintaining a healthy social media experience.

3. Know how to limit yourself

This is common knowledge to some but sometimes, it’s important to take a social media detox from time to time. Disconnect once in a while to be present with your surroundings. Not only does it elevate our anxiety, it simultaneously boosts our productivity level. Utilize your precious time wisely with this new found freedom - you can go for strolls, chat with friends, connect with your family or start doing the things you’ve always wanted to do. Perhaps you can also reflect on yourself and nourish your soul with books and podcasts.

Stop seeing the lack in every situation and start looking for that silver lining. These things are what builds us up as a person, we should always aim to become more wholesome and see things from a holistic perspective. The key takeaway here is to constantly seek self-improvement and practice self-love.

4. Spread love, not hate.

Everyone has their own way of doing things and making their own waves. Being a keyboard warrior because you’re jealous of someone else’s lifestyle wouldn’t pay for your trip to Bali or make you an ‘influencer’ the next day either. Of course, no one’s perfect – but to blame and shame creates an unhealthy ‘environment’ on social media and it’s not very pleasant to see. We don’t benefit from hate, we just become worse.

Be the bigger person. Even if you receive a sarcastic comment, respond privately or just simply ignore it. There's no need to participate and to aggravate the situation.

There’s a saying that goes,

“If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

In essence, we should be mindful of our own actions. Social media is merely a tool to bridge connections. Don’t blame social media for all the negative effects, it’s us to blame for not sorting out our priorities.

Social media doesn’t hurt us, we do.

You can find out more about Kelly on her Instagram too!

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