Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media

Social media has become part of our daily lives, and we interact with it constantly. Many of the things we feel, think and do are influenced by social media. With something as powerful as social media, it’s important to be informed and aware of how it affects you personally.

The most effective way to ensure you use social media responsibly is to post content with thought and purpose, control your content consumption, and set social media limits for yourself.

Post Content with Purpose and Thought

A good tip on using social media responsibly is to think before you post. It is imperative to think about how what you’re about to post or say can affect others. When posting anything online, ask yourself: Is what I am about to say kind, will I cause harm to someone by posting this, and will what I am about to say be perceived negatively? Remember always to speak kind and respectfully to others on social media, as you really don’t know what others are going through.

Before posting anything to social media, consider whether it is something you would want your mother or employer to see. Posting something if it is too inappropriate for your mother to see probably isn’t a good idea. Content that is disrespectful, insulting, and insensitive can cause severe damage to the recipient.

You must also consider how you post your content and what you post. It is best to refrain from posting in all capital letters because this gives the impression that you are yelling. If you share someone else’s work or ideas, make sure to give them credit. When you are not the one who created a post, a quote, a photo, or any other piece of content, never claim it as your own. If you plan to post pictures or videos of other people, you should ask their permission first.

Before you post something, consider how it can influence your personal brand. Everything you share online reflects you, and you can use this to your advantage to build your personal brand, empower other people, and advance your career.

Control the Content You Consume

In addition to thinking about the content you are sharing, it’s equally important to have control over the content you consume on social media. Research reveals that social media use can be harmful to your mental health. Medical News Today reports a link between social media usage and anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

In considering these potentially harmful impacts, carefully choosing the content and information you consume is exceptionally crucial. To achieve this, you should control what appears in your feed as much as possible. It’s better to follow social media pages that inspire, uplift, and encourage rather than those that incite fear and anxiety.

Avoid allowing negativity into your feed and take the necessary steps to remove it. It is okay to unfollow people who share harmful content constantly. If you don’t want to unfollow them, mute them so their posts and stories don’t appear in your newsfeed. Allowing negative energy into your life can affect your mental well-being, so it is essential to surround yourself with positive energy.

Once you have removed negativity from your feed, start following and connecting with pages and people who inspire you. When you follow people who share uplifting and encouraging content on social media, this can positively affect your mental health. Imagine waking up each day and seeing someone tell you how awesome you are or seeing an uplifting quote on social media. This can be a great motivator and inspire you to accomplish whatever you set your mind to.

The use of social media allows you to develop meaningful relationships with others, connect with your professional network, and stay connected with friends and family regularly. Social media will affect you in some capacity, so making sure it affects you positively is your responsibility.

Create Social Media Limits

Setting screen time limits for yourself is essential. Give yourself an allotted amount of time each day if you feel that you are using social media excessively or it’s negatively impacting your mental well-being. Studies show that social media has a more significant effect on teens and children, so it may be a good idea to set similar limits for your kids if you are a parent.  

Keeping up with world events is important, but constantly reading the news can be mentally and emotionally draining and stressful. Consider only looking at social media and the news at specific times of the day to prevent overload. Watching the news in the morning might make you start your day in a stressful mindset, and reading it right before bed might disturb your sleep; try only viewing it midday.

For example, looking at the news in the morning may cause you to start your day in a stressful mindset, and looking at it right before bed may affect your sleep; you could try only looking at it midday.

In certain situations, such as when you are spending time with your family or going to dinner, you may want to avoid using your smartphone. When you are with the people you love, it’s important to be present rather than letting social media pull you away.

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