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Social media, friend or foe?

We live in the age of instant gratification that feeds our egos and self confidence, as great as social media can be we find that social media, too, can have direct and indirect ramifications on our mental health.  

The blue light that keeps us occupied when we’re bored, helps us stay in touch with those we may have lost touch with and ensures that we are clued up with the latest news – all at our fingertips, our friend, or foe – good old social media. 

Having access to social media can skew our sense of reality and set unrealistic expectations based on what we see others doing and achieving, comparison is in fact the thief of joy. 

It is as two-folded as the beauty of social media, however,  it allows us access to global communities and provides us with freedom of expression, moreso in the creative sphere. With the power of social media we are able to support global causes without applying for a visa or booking a flight, some of the most impactful social movements have started where people leveraged off social media to build awareness on an issue.

As prominent as cyberbullying is in the social sphere, social media can be seen as a source of genuine support through online communities and help lines without having to leave your home. 

Tips for healthy social media use: 

  1. Follow accounts that connect you to the rest of the world and that you can learn from. 
  2. Unfollow, block or mute accounts and content that lower your self-esteem, trigger traumas or put you in a negative mindset.
  3. Limit your time spent on social media as much as you can; interacting online can bring you closer to the rest of the world but can also consume your time so much that you become disconnected from the rest of the world. 
  4. Take a break, when you are feeling stressed or anxious it is good to unplug and take time off from social media. Recharge your batteries and realign your focus. 

In the current climate it is important to identify how you choose to spend your time and what information you are willing to consume. Social media, easily accessible at our fingertips at any given moment, is one of the most important areas to review. Choose wisely.