5 Tips for Having a Healthy Relationship with Social Media

Given today's digital world, I'd be surprised if there's anyone left whose life isn't somehow consumd by social media. 

After high school, I had the startling realization that moving away to college meant I no longer had to know what everyone from my hometown was up to. I must say, unfollowing people from high school is the best form of self-care. But no matter who you follow, Instagram has its ways of bringing out the worst in us when it comes to using the app.

So, how exactly does someone form and maintain a healthy relationship with social media? It took me a while to figure out for myself. Here are my top tips that may make your scrolling experience all that much better.

1. Think of your Instagram feed as your group of friends. Who do you want to be associated with? Follow accounts that inspire you, promote positivity, and make you feel GOOD about yourself, physically and mentally. Be more selective and mindful about who you follow. With the exception of celebrities and fashionistas, I only follow people who I actually know or have met in person. The Instagram algorithm isn't always in our favor. It watches our every move and is designed to keep us scrolling. If you are always stalking your ex, their content will consistently pop up on your feed or the discover page. Instead, if you choose to intentionally look at positive, inspiring, and uplifting things, this content will naturally find its way to you more often. You are in control.

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2. Stop caring so much about likes. Apparently, Instagram is rolling out a new "hidden likes" feature, making likes only visible to the person who posted the photo. So, share for the sake of sharing, not for the result or response in return. What you have to share is so much more valuable than a number.

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3. Don't use DMs to keep in touch with close ones. Instead, talk to them on the phone, video chat with them, or just stick to texting. The information we share on social media is limited. What a long distance friend replies to our Instagram story isn't enough to feel connected. Make an extra effort for the people you care about.

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4. The mute button is a blessing. It's perfect for those people who are your distant acquaintances. Mute accounts that don't inspire you or aren't in your immediate circle. It's not like you won't miss anything anyways. Stay focused when it comes to filling your feed with positivity and good vibes by making it shorter and more to the point. You can always check in on someone specific whenever you want. Though personally, if I don't want to see someone's posts I will unfollow them, but muting is just another alternative.

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5. To promote or not promote? Figure out why exactly you want to use Instagram, or any other social media platform for that matter. If you're not trying to become a public figure or use social media for work, there is no need to stress about branding yourself. It's common to feel pressured into doing so by people who pay extra caution to what they post. Know who and what you're posting for and decide which path you want to take.

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Happy Instagramming!