In this blog, we are looking at some practical solutions to a problem I’ve seen a lot of my friends complain about on social media about social media.
Right now, COVID-19 is sweeping the internet. Without careful thought, this might mean our newsfeed is crammed with content associated with the topic. In the age of fake news, dark humour, and poor mental health, constant negative stimulation is not healthy.
My biggest belief is that – for the moment at least – your feed is what you make it to be.
Here I share some tips which have helped me escape from the negativity and news interpretations. As a result, this has also brought more light and positivity to my daily scroll. It does take a little while to work as you declutter your feed but it was so worthwhile. It was far more efficient then temporarily switching off for a detox and then returning to the same content, only to repeat a few months down the line once you have had enough.
OKAY! So here are 7 tips to positify your social media for your Wonderlyfe.
- Firstly, I removed all the meme pages. Now stick with me here. Yes, we do need humour in our lives and feeds. BUT! And a massive but here, if those meme pages are filled with one of two things, I strongly suggest finding a more mentally healthy funny page to follow. This is, of course, in-line with my personal opinion and humour. My big nono types of meme pages are those which:
- remind you of the bad things, that includes dark humour. It might be funny to joke about the COVID-19 but all it did was remind me that I can’t see my friends and family, that people are dying and are losing their livelihood.
- consist of self-depreciating humour. Yes, I get it, I’m British-born after all and for some strange reason, we find self-depreciation jokes funny, our British sarcasm sends the room laughing at our expense, and we love it! But, doing that constantly overtime, your subconscious is fed with it and eventually starts to believe it. Similarly, ‘relatable’ oh-woe-is-me memes are often detrimental too if you are trying to take care of yourself.
- Give “News pages” the snip. Yes, we all need to be more “woke” but when I see the news I want it to be on MY terms. I don’t want it to pop up on my news feed when I least expect it or perhaps if I am feeling a touch fragile that day. And most importantly, I don’t want it to be from an ‘OMGNEWS’ site, I want to be able to actively go to a trusted website and read it when I am ready, with the mental capacity to take it in.
- Follow the positivity. This is as simple as finding what sparks your joy and positivity and just following it. Robin Sharma mentions in his book ‘The 5 am Club’ and also in his podcast the principle of using ‘Joy as a GPS’. We can apply this rule here, ask yourself the following questions:
- Which of your friends sparks your joy? Who do you find inspirational?
- Set your profile to prioritise seeing their posts.
- Who are your positive role models, both within the realm of people you know and outside of it – celebrities, philosophists, leaders, health gurus?
- You know what I am going to say, follow their pages and prioritise their posts on your feed.
- Which places spark your joy? Where do you find relaxing or inspirational?
- Find a travel page associated with this place and follow it
- What activities spark your joy?
- Find how-to and tips pages of those activities. For example, I love dancing and my feed is littered with dance choreography and tutorials which bring me joy.
- Take a secret break. For anyone you see who spouts a lot of news-related posts repeatedly, especially those which don’t come from a kind place, Facebook has a wonderful option to ‘Take a break’ and on Instagram, you can ‘Restrict’. This means you can stop seeing their posts without actually removing them as a friend or blocking them. This is the polite way of protecting your mental health without upsetting anyone. How British!
- Be brutal. If anyone has made me feel sad or bad in the past and perhaps there are unresolved issues, I did the same as number 4 or just removed them from my friend’s list but then also personally worked on my hurt or issues with that person. Whilst I work on my issues, I do not want to constantly see them on my feed.
- Just get rid. Anyone racist, homophobic, sexist, misogynist, Islamophobic or any other religious discrimination, ableist and any other form of discrimination gets removed and blocked. I don’t have the time, need or space for this kind of people in my life. And, if they are close friends who you don’t want to cut off, it’s time for a serious chat.
- Take one step further to follow the positivity. I love those cheesy motivational posts, and I love having constant reminders to take care of my self because I need them. It is also great to be given self-care ideas and tips regularly. So my advice is for a more positive health feed is to find those mental health positive and follow them, force those sickly sweet and inspiring messages on your feed every day.
Those are a couple of my tips to curate your newsfeed to be more positive and mentally healthy. I truly think social media is what you create of it. So, with a bit of time and effort, it can be used for greater positivity and encouragement.
For something that so many people spend so much time on, let is become a tool to progress you rather than hold you back.
Do you have any other tips on how to make your social media feed more healthy? Please share them below.