I’m no expert when it comes to social media.
I was late to the party with Facebook and my Instagram page isn’t even a year old yet. I’m perfectly fine with that. However, I have really enjoyed the positives of social media. I’ve been encouraged in my faith and healing journeys, and I’ve connected with so many lovely people I would have never met without social media.
If you have social media, you know that it’s not always the most positive thing. Social media is a breeding ground for issues like comparison syndrome, discontentment, and wasting hours upon hours doing virtually nothing productive.
In order to keep my experience with social media positive, I have had to be very intentional in how I use it.
Like I said, I’m not an expert. These are just a few things that have helped me use social media in a way that encourages growth, healing, and community.
1. Recognize the limitations of social media.
Social media is not real life. It can seem like real life, but it can never truly reflect the complexities of the actual lives of human beings. Social media is a cherry-picked selection of things people choose to share with the world. Keep that in mind as you scroll.
Social media also doesn’t replace human interaction, connection, and community. It’s a huge blessing, especially for me as someone with chronic illness. I’m able to find connection and community online that is comforting and positive, but it will never replace in-person interaction.
2. You have a brain. Please use it before you post things.
Common sense is really important, folks. We’re taught to think before we speak, but we also need to think before we post. Ask yourself some basic questions about your motives, your goals, and your future before you launch your thoughts into the world wide web forever. Are you just looking for attention? Are you building people up or tearing people down? Will you regret having said this later? You’re a human with an incredibly complex and amazing brain. All you need to do is use it.
3. Don’t post for specific people.
Don’t post something for the world to see if you only want one person to see it. It’s petty and stupid. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.
4. Follow accounts that encourage you.
You have control over what shows up in your feed, for the most part. So, follow people that spur you on towards growth, peace, and happiness. For me, that means I follow LOTS of mental health accounts, Bible teachers, and fellow chronic illness pals.
5. Purge your following/friends list.
This one probably sounds harsh but it’s so critical. Purge your following list and do it often. Don’t be afraid of the unfollow button. If any account makes you even a little bit uncomfortable, depressed, stressed, or upset, listen to those feelings and click unfollow. There’s a difference between discomfort and conviction. Conviction is a good thing and sometimes we need a kick in the pants to encourage us towards growth. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about things that are triggering, unhelpful, and unholy.
You’re not weak for unfollowing people. You just aren’t the smartest if you keep following them and expect your feelings to change. Take back control of your social media and clean up that following list. I guarantee you will feel better when you’re done.
What tips do you have for using social media? How do you stay positive on social media and use it for good and growth?
Let me know in the comments! Let’s chat.