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Avoiding Social Media Stress 101

By: Shelby Hicks

In the age of iPhones with face recognition and cars that drive themselves, it is no secret that social media plays a big part into the majority of peoples lives in America. What originally started out as a way to connect with friends and family through your phone has now emerged to a platform where you try to get the best pictures, angles and scenery for an “aesthetic”. Literally, you take 200 pictures with different poses and spots just to choose 1-4 for Instagram. It is no secret that social media influences us because half of the celebrities we know and love have BBL’s (Brazilian Butt Lifts), making their hips the size of watermelons. Some celebrities even risk their lives to fly across the country to get a surgery that will take months to heal with the risk of them EXPLODING on the plane ride home. Or how about the fashion trend with clothes that either barely cover anything, or the baggy pants with some Jordan 1’s, a graphic tee and dramatic edges with a tote bag? A 2018 British social media study tied social media to decreased, disrupted, and delayed sleep which is associated with depression, memory loss, and poor academic performance.

Let’s get this straight…. Does social media directly cause depression or poor mental health? NO! Some people use it for positive reasons. However, depending on the person it can be used as a vehicle for distress for those with unhelpful patterns of thinking. []. It can cause someone to compare themselves to others which leads to self-disappointment and lack of self esteem. By no means am I saying I am not a victim of it. But when I find myself doing it, I remind myself that I am my own person, and I am special in my own way.

Social media can either consume you in a good or a bad way. The choice is up to you! Here are some tips that I have found to be helpful to change my feed to less celebrities to drama to more positive posts:

  1. Social media looks at your interactions; the more you interact with drama, the more drama will come on your timeline.

  2. Start liking and re-sharing posts and accounts that intertwine with positive messages, and motivational speakers.

  3. Follow more pages that align with your dream career choices. A lot of people post helpful tips and information to help you reach your goals.

  4. Set a timer for how long your daily limit on social media can be. The longer you scroll, the more likely you will bump into negative content.

  5. Understand that SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT REAL LIFE BOO. There has been countless times, I posted a picture I took three days ago in the park, but I was in my pajamas with a bonnet on.

If fake news is the spreader of low-quality information, social media may just be the feeder of low-self esteem and stress. So, aim high and don't get bit by the social media bug!

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