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Mental Health

My Mental Health Struggle as a Social Media Manager and What I Learned

Social media managers are said to be the soul of a brand since they place the stepping stones that guide audience members to connect with a brand and build a relationship with them. In layman’s terms, social media managers are in charge of all of a brand’s social media platforms, they create and post content, respond to your comments and messages and create a masterful online presence. In the past three years, I have been actively working as a social media manager for various social media platforms in higher education and online publications. Currently, I control the social media platforms of four brands and although it does prepare me for a future career, I find that social media is a toxic environment that I try my best to pull away from. 

Unfortunately, although social media is highly toxic, unlike the general public, it is our job to be online. As a full-time student managing four brands on social media, most of my time is spent online, scrolling through my four different feeds and trying to process all the upcoming trends. This is so because screen time is an unofficial requirement for the job since we always have to be in-trend and keep updated on everything relevant to our brand that can be found online. Although I find so much joy and fun in working as a social media manager, spending my time in the depths of the internet negatively impacts my mental health. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t condemn my job to be the single threat to my mental health, but the amount of time I am inclined to spend on social media ultimately hinders me from overcoming my mental health struggles. 

Related article: 7 Ways To Take A Step Away From Your Social Media

In the past few years, I have developed a negative body image, resulting in increasing rates of anxiety and stress in my daily life. Although I have tried my best to flip this reality, mentally flipping the switch just isn’t that easy. However, recently, I have realized how important it is to navigate your way through life’s negativity. What I learned did not come easily and took me years to accept, but now, gradually, I am taking the steps toward that much-needed change. I will share four of the most important practices I’ve learned to nurture my mental health while still performing my job exceptionally. This time, screen time will no longer be the fault and I will no longer allow my mind to be swindled, and I hope this helps you.  

1. Unfollow ‘uninspiring’ accounts online 

If you can’t stay away from social media like me, keep the online negativity away from you instead. It’s really important to cleanse your feed of any posts or tweets that serve no benefit to your health. I started this process by scrolling through my feed and studying which posts made me feel inclined to pursue negativity, then I proceeded to unfollow the accounts. I did the same on Pinterest by marking some sensitive images “not interested” to keep them away from my feed. Gradually, this funneled me into a healthier social media presence.  

2. Walk away from negativity

If you happen to encounter negativity on social media, whether directly or indirectly, take it upon yourself to walk away from the situation. Leave the conversation, move to a different platform, or watch one of your favorite videos. I understand, however, that scrolling away from this type of content will not make things disappear or solve things completely. So, if you’re feeling extremely anxious, triggered, or sad, the best thing to do is step away from the situation and simply put down your phone. 

Related article: Jobs in Social Media Require People to Face the Cruelest Parts of the Internet

3. Feed yourself good content after some negativity

If you’re scrolling through your feed and you happen to see content that triggers you, be sure to feed yourself uplifting images, videos, music, podcasts, food or a combination of everything. I found that doing this easily helped me move on from the negativity that I consumed or simply saw. 

4. Invest in a hobby that doesn’t involve the internet

Last but not least, invest in a hobby that doesn’t involve the internet. Now I know this seems unrealistic with all the hobbies being offered online but invest in a hobby other than watching Netflix, playing online games or reading a book. Try to invest in a hobby that keeps you away from the internet like going on a walk, cooking, journaling and more. 

Dominique Bernardino

George Mason University '21

Originally from the Philippines, Dominique "Niki" Bernardino is a rising junior pursuing a double degree in Public Relations and Film at George Mason University. When she isn't managing her social media internship or working as a multimedia editor, she enjoys watching sappy rom-coms, listening to k-pop, and exploring the internet.
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