According to Merriam-Webster, social media is defined as: forms of electronic communication through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos). Sounds attractive, right? I mean, communities created to share our ideas and personal messages seems like a fun way to spend your down time. And yet, we find ourselves being inundated with politics, sad news and downright nasty comments when we do something as harmless as log onto Facebook.
Have you been in a perfectly good mood, then looked at social media and found your mood shift towards the negative? I sure have. Whether it was a harsh comment directed towards me, or a negative post that someone felt justified in sending out into the social universe. Some days I find myself feeling the internet does more harm than it does good. Obviously, that’s not the case, but man, it sure can feel that way. You can read something online that will leave you feeling sad, depressed, anxious and sometimes hateful.
What gives? How do we overcome the bad that’s all over the internet? I want to share my practical tips to overcome the negativity.
- Pay attention. Have you been noticing a negative shift in your mood when you’re on social media? Perhaps you feel jealousy over someone’s perfect Instagram life. Or maybe you can’t stand reading even one more political post. Recognize if your bad mood is being driven by what you’re consuming online.
- Take a break. If you do find yourself feeling down or negative, cleanse! Take a social media break. Delete the apps off your phone. Make it harder to access. And choose a friend to help keep you accountable. See if a break helps improve your tude.
- Remember it isn’t all real. When reality tv came on the scene, we began to believe manufactured situations to be truth. The same goes for social media. I bet my right foot not a single one of the gorgeous accounts you follow online is someone’s real life. None of the Pinterest moms really have it all together. You know why? Because no one is perfect. We’re all flawed. We all fall short. But guess what? That’s the beauty of life. We’re all these imperfectly perfect women just trying to live our best lives. Somewhere along the way we were fed the lies that we had to live up to the Pinterest-perfect lifestyles we see online, and we believed it. We conveniently forgot it’s not realistic.
- Quit playing the comparison game. Comparison really is the thief of joy (read my post here on this topic.) We women tend to compare everything we have, do and are to others. I believe this dangerous game we play has been going on since Eve was in the garden. Social media has only magnified how big our flaws really are. Instead of enjoying the beauty we see in what other women are creating online, we find ourselves feeling down because we can’t do what they’re doing. We seem to forget that we all have gifts and talents. We only see that someone online is living their life better and prettier than we are.
- Establish boundaries. You know that a certain person or account that you follow that leaves you feeling bad about yourself? Unfollow them! Do you find yourself getting wrapped up in comment wars with people you don’t personally know and will never meet? STOP IT. There’s no excuse for behaving badly in real life, so there’s absolutely no excuse for behaving badly on the internet. Thumper said it best in Bambi, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” That person online who irks the crud out of you? Regardless of how many followers they have, how much money they appear to have, whatever excuse you are using to justify your rude remarks… They have feelings too. They are human, just like you. Publicly posting a nasty remark online doesn’t make you look better and ultimately, it won’t make you feel better either.Set up boundaries for yourself. Commit to following only the accounts that make you feel good. Comment only when you have something positive to say. Be the change this world so badly needs. Choose to see the good, instead of commenting on the bad.
I’ve teamed up with Olay to encourage you to find the good in social media. As always, if I encourage even one of my Gorgeous Girls, then I count my work as successful. Comment below with any suggestions you have to staying positive on social media!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olay. The opinions and text are all mine.