Social Media has had such a stranglehold over our lives for the last 20 years actual gaining a grip on the very fabric of our existence, breakups, makeups and life as we want to portray it to others broadcast all over the world for others to see. Social Media companies play on our most basic instincts to profit but what is the cost to us the average user and has enough become enough?
Life, has changed so much from the days of my youth and for the new generations growing it seems that the emphasis on success is more relative to the number of unknown people who follow you is more creditworthy than actually having a skill, an ability or a true talent. We, instead focus on the childish behaviours, the ridiculous conversations and the over prolific use of language that is vulgarity incarnate. We relish in the misery of others and broadcast the personal and impersonal. It has taken our need to be part of a group, a social circle and created an environment that amplifies the misgivings and relative to some situations even orchestrates and supports the ability to segregate separate to organise and champion the growth of groups that have nefarious or immoral actions. Whether that be through hate, victimisation, bullying, cohesion, Identity Theft and much more, with an increase in Mental Health issues rising around the world, online bullying being an inescapable inevitability for many each day, the longing to be part of something more, to fit into a group to become something we are not, is so prevalent.
We have to ask are the companies behind the social media doing all they can to prevent this from happening?
The answer is they cannot, it is an impossible control, where ever we have groups of people there will always be this darker side that manifests itself. So, what does that mean to us? It means you need to take responsibility, be smart, be careful, don’t put yourself in a situation that can cause you distress or harm. Do not fall into the trap of opinion battles online, a lot of these are simply there to target and hook you in, to get more notability to the post, I even see this being used by large companies as a tactic to boost their online presence and get more views.
I have been informed so many times that humans are creatures of habit, and although there is an element of truth to this, this is not the situation. Humans form habits from opinions, guidance, instruction and of course watching what our parents, family, and friends do daily this is the strongest kind of influence that we have, habits are formed and this is the main tool that any advertiser, company, manipulator (let’s be frank here, advertising is about manipulation as is social media) has in its arsenal. You will never find the rainbow at the end of a Social Media instead there are a few things we can do to help us through these times, and begin to ween us from the grip of social media to a point we can use it healthily and safely because even though we have identified within this blog the negative side to Social Media, there is always (as with everything in life) a positive side. A place where you can chat with friends or keep in contact with those that you haven’t seen for a long time, family connections, and of course funny cat and dog videos that lift the spirits. Limiting social media is not bad for many it can produce a positive response, in their daily lives, even though many now feel they have to defend and depend on social media as their only means of connecting to the outside world.
So, here are a few things we should be doing to help our mental state of mind, now take into account that for many people reading this, these tasks will seem impossibly difficult and for others, they will be a normal day to day things;
- Get as much NATURAL LIGHT as possible, in your home open your curtains open your windows allow the outside in whenever you can.
- Talk to Friends, Family ask for advice never take any challenge on your own if it is overwhelming for you, and likewise be there to offer advice and support for your friend/family network.
- Go for walks in nature, along beaches, mountains, and hills. Open yourself up to discovering the beauty of the place city/country you live in.
- Never let actions of the past hinder your future, instead use them as learning experiences, if we live with the consequences of those actions burning brightly within us we indeed give ourselves a mental jail sentence and as they accumulate we become burdened with history, do not be afraid to forgive yourself or others around you.
- Learn to laugh again, find something that brings you immeasurable pleasure and partake in it, eventually moving away from social media and the reliance that has been created with the mobile phone.
- Sometimes, leave your house without your mobile phone, start with small trips to the shop then take it a bit further maybe when you go for a long walk put your phone in a backpack and leave it there as you walk around to enjoy the views the sights and maybe say hi to a few people instead of checking your phone every two minutes. You don’t need to be connected 24/7.
- Start to give yourself the recognition you deserve, tell yourself well done when you do something, it might be you have a fear of going outside and you have to sum up all your strength and courage to even open the door to look outside, don’t ever downplay any achievement because what’s easy for one may be extremely difficult for another. Give yourself that recognition and pat yourself on your back because that is awesome.
- Engage with Social Media opinions less, these drag you into discussions that can lay heavy on your mind, instead see that everyone is entitled to an opinion and you don’t have to change their minds, you have no obligation or responsibility for others’ views.
- If you can exercise it is a great way to feel good about yourself, now this may be the gym, it may be going out for a jog, or how about doing some exercise in the comfort of your own home (Check out Cs awesome blog post on SLERADIO.COM about exercising at home).
- Listen to music, Music has this awesome ability to change our perspective and feelings on situations. Use music to help you, listen to different genres and be aware of the effect it has on you. Music.
- Never compare your life to what you see others portraying on Social Media, and never be envious if someone has something you do not, instead look at yourself and say what can I do to be happy with me.
Social Media can be a fun place to be, but don’t let it work you over, why don’t you try a few of the suggestions above and give it a little time, see how it goes.
Does it make a difference to you? If it doesn’t ask yourself why?
Inner reflection is key to happiness so spend a little time thinking and looking at yourself. After all, the only person that can make a difference in your life is you.