Social media has undoubtedly changed the way of the world, allowing for more connection with others online, and for individual voices from all around the world to be heard. It’s created jobs that we never knew could have existed and allowed strangers to become friends regardless of distance.
But let's face it: It's is not all positive. Social media has also created a platform for constant comparison and can be a time sink like no other - no one wants to admit how much sleep they've lost scrolling through TikTok! We can have a healthy relationship with social media, but you'll need some tools to help you strike the right balance!
Do a social media cleanse! Go through your follow list and unfollow every account that makes you feel inadequate or that doesn’t match up with your values. Curate your list so it’s full of faces and places you’ll be uplifted, empowered or enriched by seeing every day, not things which will bring your mood down.
Try not to compare
We all do it! Social comparison is an inbuilt psychological mechanism, so comparing ourselves and our lives to the constant highlight reels we see online is an inevitability. Whether it's our bodies or our personalities, we judge ourselves based on what we see on Instagram or Facebook. It’s important, however, to step back and realise that what's posted online doesn’t portray the whole story. While the poster is having fancy holidays and looking flawless, behind the screens is a normal life full of ups and downs, just like the rest of us.
Mostly, when we look at social media we are making upward comparisons, in which we compare to people with higher levels of what we desire: money, time, relationships or good looks. To counteract this, it's important to also notice the downward comparisons rarely shared on social media. Are there people in the world who have less than you? Is it possible that you have it better than others in some way? Balancing your upward comparisons with some downward ones is useful in defusing the inferiority many people feel after comparing themselves to a lucky few who are sharing posts on social media.
If the comparisons are seriously impairing your ability to experience joy or satisfaction with your own life, talking to a psychologist or even a Sonder team member can be useful in helping to address any underlying issues relating to self-esteem or mental health.
Reduce screen time
Actually reducing the amount of time spent on social media is easier said than done. It doesn’t take much for a quick scroll to turn into a two hour binge. Set time limits on certain apps which you know are your kryptonite and/or even go the extra mile and delete them from your phone.
If you don’t think you can manage that, you can always keep them on your computer or other device such as an iPad, so you don’t have to have it on your phone and you’re not tempted to open it. If you’re up for it, maybe even take a couple days off social media. Yes, we mean no Instagram stories or food pics. While it may be a strange experience at first, we’re confident you can do it!
Replace social media with something else
Surely your only hobby can’t just be social media consumption? A good way to create a healthy relationship with it is to find other ways you can spend your time, whether that’s reading, baking, rock climbing or even simply chatting with friends (in real life!). Whatever way makes you happy and gets you off your phone more often.
If you’re feeling like social media has taken over more of your life then you’d like it to, it’s worth reaching out for help. Contact a psychologist or speak to one of our Sonder team members who can help.
If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.
Image credit: The Mindy Project
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.