Social media is often a double-edged sword. While it’s made it easier to connect with people all over the globe, it’s also been linked to a decrease in mental health, especially in regards to depression, body image, and our overall sense of safety within the world. You may have even considered deleting your social media once or twice before realizing how important it is to you and your brand. It seems unfair that you have to choose between your professional life and your mental health. Why should you have to?
Well, maybe you don’t. While it may seem like a difficult feat, there are definitely ways to minimize the negative effects of social media while still reaping all the benefits, as long as you’re careful about how you use it. Check out our tips and tricks that’ll help you make the most of social media (without letting it depress you).
Make that dreaded purge
While you may be tempted to use social media as a way to connect with celebrities, influencers, and other users that promote glamorous lifestyles, instead focus on using it as a platform to connect with people you know and people you’d like to network with. If someone isn’t making your life positive and productive in some way or another, unfollow or unfriend them — yes, even if it means saying goodbye to one of the Kardashians. Sure, it’s fun to scroll through pictures of luxurious vacation homes and expensive clothing, but it’s also probably one of the worst things you can do for your mental health. Stick to following people who will make your life more productive.
Turn off your notifications
Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to turn off your notifications. Does it really matter how many likes or comments you’re getting in any given moment? Social media isn’t something that should interrupt your daily routing. Instead, have a set time during the day for you to go through and respond to necessary comments and gauge how well your posts are doing — it’s really not something worth stressing about all day.
Limit your posting
You don’t have to post something every few hours — in fact, it’s best if you don’t. Studies have shown that it’s best to post once per day to optimize your social media experience, and there’s no doubt that it’s better for your mental health that way, too. Not only are your followers more likely to get annoyed at an onslaught of posts every day, but you shouldn’t be living your life through your phone screen. You’re more than your social media persona.
Know your audience (and pay attention to their needs)
While the number of likes a post gets may not matter much in the long run, it’s important to gauge how much your audience is interacting with your posts. Which kinds do they prefer? What do they avoid? Pay attention to the kind of engagement your posts receive and which platforms they perform best on — what’s good for Twitter won’t necessarily be great for Instagram. Once you’ve gotten a feel for what your audience wants (and needs), it’ll be a lot easier to approach what content to post to social media without stressing about how it’ll be received by your followers.
Don’t use social media just because you’re bored
There’s no point to getting on social media just to get on social media. As I mentioned before, it’s generally scrolling through your newsfeed idly that’ll start making you feel blue. If you’re going to open Instagram of Facebook on your phone, make sure it’s with purpose — to respond to someone’s inquiry, maybe, or to craft your own post. It’s okay to look through your newsfeed every now and then, of course, but don’t make it a habit. You’ll feel much better about your online presence if you’re spending your time focusing on your brand, not just the people you’re following.
Social media is great for building a personal brand, but don’t get so caught up in building a positive self-image that you stop being yourself. You might want to build a brand that’s even bigger than yourself, but most people have a built-in BS detector and will know if you’re being unusually positive or ingenuine. Besides, there’s nothing worse for your own self-worth than being loved for being something you’re not. Instead, focus on letting your own positive traits shine through and never stop being real about who you are — not only will your followers appreciate it, but you’ll learn to appreciate yourself for it, too.