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We all love a good scroll, don’t we? Most of us find ourselves going down social media rabbit holes on the daily. It provides an easy way to relax and zone out from our stress, and with most companies and news portals also using these platforms it’s easy to find ourselves there, hopping from one page or handle to another. Love it or hate it, it’s become a huge part of our lives, and it brings with it connection, convenience and opportunity.
On the flip side of the coin, the platforms also bombard us with more content than we know what to do with. Whilst social media may be sold to us as a means of keeping in touch with those who are far away, it can also create a new kind of distance; that between the virtual world and reality, occasionally even creating barriers between yourself and your loved ones who are right beside you in the physical realm.
With it being a force that will be around forever, we have put together our five top tips to get the best out of social media and avoid mental burnout from it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re consuming business posts, reels or the new stories of your favourite influencer, always be mindful of how much time you’ve actually spent on the app. “Oh wow! I’ve been on Instagram for 2 hours!” for example, is a statement that is to be avoided. Studies have shown that to elevate your feelings in a positive way, no more than 30 minutes should be spent on social media on any given day. Using a function to manage your social media time limits is a great step towards managing this.

2) Curate your Content

Your mental health is not only affected by how long you’re on social media, but also the type of content you’re viewing. Negative input typically leads to a negative output, which should come as no surprise. Real life can be enough of a challenge, so social media doesn’t have to drag you down, too. Unfollow or block content before it begins to change your mood in the wrong direction. As with real life relationships, when an account doesn’t bring out the best in you, maybe it’s time to let go.

3) Choose Real before Reel

Social media keeps us engaged when we are browsing and scrolling, but even with all that captivating content, often giving us the feeling of being a part of a larger community, we need to prioritise the real world. Face-to-face contact never goes out of style, so focus more on what’s happening right next to you. Start to invest more time in building and maintaining relationships, especially when your favourite people are sitting right next to you. Nothing creates deeper connections than shared experiences, so create your own stories rather than watch someone else’s.

4) Educate Yourself

If you’re not already somewhat familiar with how algorithms work, it would serve you well to do a bit of research. It’s also important to safeguard your personal information and protect your accounts against hacking. And let us not forget that social media tends to make us compare ourselves with others, often leaving us feeling unworthy or not interesting enough, or with a serious wave of FOMO. We need to understand what we are dealing with if we are to avoid getting sucked into a negative mindset.

5) When all fails: Turn it off!

When social media is dragging you down and the above tips are not effective enough, shut it down! Whether it needs to be temporary or a complete cleanse, get rid of the app. Don’t hesitate to seek support from family or friends if the addiction seems too far gone, or even search for professional assistance if necessary.