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How to Live a Healthy Life in the Age of Social Media

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Social media platforms are by and large defined by the ability to communicate and offer ideas to a network of users. This means that through this definition, even forums, or blogs like this one could be defined as smaller social platforms.

Yet many of us know of the larger services that seem to be shaping societal discourse more than ever - be that Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and also sites like YouTube and Reddit; which offer tangible additional features. 

While social media has brought with it some wonderful features, it also brings difficulty. While showcasing Trump shirts or stickers in order to show your political affiliations, or backing democratic candidates may be a great way to vents your political beliefs, now people find conflict on social media easier as accessing people with vitriolic opposing views can be achieved within seconds, often achieving nothing but argument when real progress in the community could be made instead.

For this reason, it’s true to say that social media has been affecting the mental health of people internationally. From being dogpiled on during difficult scandals to simply having access to such arguments in your pockets all day long, most people would agree that we need to try and live healthy lives in spite of social media, not necessarily with it.

In this post, we’ll discuss a means of achieving both; even if you do enjoy the fractious element involved with online life:

Learn When To Disconnect

Social media is ever-demanding, with its constant notifications not only alerting you to engagement with your profile, but recommendations for content yuo might wish to see, or updates to topics you’re following.

Additionally, some pretty intelligent social psychology has been invested in the design of these platforms. The ‘pull down to refresh’ timeline gesture that many of us find totally usual to use is actual something that emanated from slot machines, where pulling down on the lever inspired us to see new results (this time, being rewarded with new content).

It’s good to limit your notifications to certain times of day (iOS allows you to add these to your ‘scheduled summary’ - and to permit access only when you know you can justify it. If possible, then disconnecting can also be health from time to time, such as through social media detoxes or coming away if you feel yourself getting frustrated.

Follow Profiles That Offer Insight

It’s good to follow profiles that offer insight and can help educate you about topics yuo enjoy, rather than following profiles that make you angry or encourage hysteria. Some political commentators know that their business models runs of the latter, and so it’s important to remain as shrewd as you can.

Blogs like ours can provide you with healthy information regarding all kinds of topics. Those involved in your hobby space can do the same. You get to decide what’s on your timeline - so make sure it helps improve your life, rather than detracts from it.

Try Not To Prove Anything

It’s very easy to try and prove that you’re right and that those you disagree with are wrong, but on social media, this is never a good idea. It’s thought that Mark Twain once said “Never argue with a fool, they’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.” 

The harsh truth is that sometimes, we’re the fool without knowing it. It’s good to have healthy discussion, but people rarely accept an opposing way of thinking in the midst of an argument. Try not to prove anything to anyone online, and the need for validation in that way can help you avoid acting on your baser impulses.

Find People Who Are Supportive

So far we’ve made social media out to be something of a horrible space where people find themselves in constant battle, but that’s not what the space looks like in its entirety.

It might be that you post about how much you love a certain new music album, and others agree with you. A nice discussion can be had there. Or, perhaps you focus on political topics that are a little more niche but to your mind, essential. This can help you get out of the incredibly sharpness implicit in topics that are taking up the headlines right now.

Or - just don’t look to build friendships on social media. You never really know the person behind that username and profile photo. It can be healthy just to observe, and connect with your friends to structure events and dates. More and more people are starting to revert back to this mindset, knowing that modern platforms have little to offer outside of communication bloodsports.

With this advice, we hope you can feel more confident living a healthy life even in the age of social media. Knowing when to disconnect is essential.

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