Everybody knows that too much social media is bad for our mental health. We are constantly told that, especially by patronising adults, but realistically nobody is deactivating their Facebook or Instagram any time soon.
Right now we are more connected to one another than we ever have been at any point in the history of time, and this can be a great thing. I for one love being able to keep up with the lives of my family who live in many different countries across the globe by sharing pictures and videos.
The toxic side of social media, however, cannot be ignored. The rise of Instagram has also led to the rise of the ‘Influencer’. People who influence their followers by convincing them to shop with a certain brand or drink a certain tea, or even suck a certain lollypop (Kim K followers will know what I’m talking about) in order to live a perfectly filtered life.
In my opinion, even the most confident and headstrong characters would struggle not to compare their own lives to these perfectly filtered, skinny green tea drinkers. This is where the problems lie. Even on a subconscious level, comparing yourself to completely unrealistic images will inevitably impact your self esteem.
As I said, I know from experience that reading blogs like this won’t suddenly inspire you to take yourself of the grid, but there are small steps you can take to cleanse your feed. I was first told by a friend to unfollow all the ‘Influencers’ who’s pages or posts I wasn’t genuinely interested in (e.g. because they fought for a cause, or posted interesting photos).
This is a small thing you can do that I think can make a big difference. If we’re going to spend hours a day scrolling we can at least be scrolling through inspiring and informational pages.
I’m not saying purge your entire social media account, just take steps to consider how you feel when you see different types of posts. There are loads of people out there using social media for good, interesting and inspiring causes and I’m telling you from experience that seeing things like that every day makes me feel slightly less guilty about the amount of time I spend scrolling.