Social Media Mindfulness
By Amanda Newlin
By Amanda Newlin
As a professional in marketing and social media, I thrive off the new trends, platform algorithms, and observing the relationship between mental health and social media. On a personal level, I've been able to see countless pictures of my adorable nieces, Zoom with colleagues, and dive into the endless rabbit hole of YouTube videos. It's exciting to have so much at your fingertips. However, this past year there has been a massive shift in how we connect, and with social media being a huge tool for modern interaction, many find themselves scrolling for hours searching for social interdependence especially, going into the holidays.
Last month our team hit on the term 'gratitude' and it allowed me to break down what I was truly grateful for this holiday season. One of those things was technology. Think about it: without the internet, social media, our cell phones, or even email this year of pandemic could have gone connectionless. I couldn't imagine not being able to call my grandma, facetime my nieces, or email my team at Green Shoe. Without the gift of technology, where would we be? This holiday season is difficult without physical and present connection and is challenging us to try new traditions while apart, but with the gift of socially distant connection, we can reach out to family and friends by voice, video, or email. I find joy and gratitude in this.
In an article published by NAMI, they mention something I found curious: "We're moving past the obsession with screen time. We're finding instead that sometimes, for some people, on some social media, certain activities can threaten our mental health. At other times, social media can be positively fundamental to well-being." Understandably, when it comes to mental health, social media may not be a paradox. It does allow you to dive into a digital world, it can bring uncertainty and possibly spark anxiety. However, it does present a social world that can also offer the opposite: serenity, confidence, and community.
You may be sitting there asking yourself, "How do I find the good in my social media?" Well, if you are anything like me, once a year I purge through groups, pages, and people I follow to ensure what shows up on my feed is positive. If it creates a sense of stress, anxiety, insecurities, or invades my social boundaries - all I have to do is click unlike - and voilà! Nothing but good vibes. I do recognize that for some unfollowing a family member or friend could cause anxiety of its own - but you must remember that you need to take care of yourself and that is it okay to say no to (or in this case, unfollow) people that may steer you to feel negative.
I do encourage everyone to break from social media now and then, set rules when the phone is off to engage with your family at dinner or deactivate your account for a month (don't worry your content won't disappear) and see how you feel after 30 days. Like anything in life, sometimes fasting from something can enhance your thinking and mood.
If you are searching for ways to improve your social media feed try searching for mental health influencers, yoga labs to follow, and don't forget to be mindful of your digital boundaries.