Social Media And Your Happiness.
If someone was to ask you what makes you happy could you tell them? you know that truely happy, content feeling? . For me its a hard one because what makes me happy depends on a given day and what I might be doing. Some days it could be the simplest of things like your skin looking well to having five minutes peace to have a coffee. Other days it could be seeing one of the horses play in the sand arena for no other reason than they feel in good form. That happy feeling also has a lot to do with the people in your life and how they make you feel, do they lift you up or drag you down? .
Another factor I have noticed recently which seems to be having a huge effect on how people feel is their use of social media. Even for me I have found lately that I find Facebook a very depressing place to be. There is never a day I don't go on it that there isn't stories about people dying, animal cruelty or other types of death and destruction. I know these awful things are happening daily all around the world but social media should be social, why do people share these stories? . If I need to know about the awful things us humans are capable of I can watch any news station or just buy a paper. Why as humans do we enjoy spreading the depression rather than spreading some good news stories? . The rest of our social media homes can also effect how we feel. For me Twitter has become a place for people to shout at others about everything. It's turned into a place for self promotion or to pull others down. The sense of support that was there has gone now people like to tear other peoples choices apart. The least stressful or depressing for me is Instagram, that isn't the case for everyone I know but for me at the moment it is my happy place other than my blog. The only pressure I feel from Instagram is to do better, to make my pictures amazing but as far as support goes it is a great community. Everyone is in the same boat, everyone wants to grow, everyone wants to post their best work which helps with the support you get there. It is also my most engaged community all 790 of us and stories are a great way to connect with everyone. Now don't get me wrong Instagram can get in on you and destroy your soul if you let it. Having people follow to unfollow in a few days, nearly no growth no matter how hard you work and feeling totally uncreative when you see some of the larger Instagram users.
I do have some worries that over the coming years our use of social media will have a huge effect on our mental health. The changes I see in it even since I started using it in 2011 is huge, it has gone from a supportive place to a place you are nearly afraid to speak for fear of the backlash you will receive. For younger users I fear they have missed this support and now all they will face is the depressing and unsupportive side to it which I fear will have a lasting effect on their mental health and will but unfair pressure on them to always be perfect because anything less just isn't good enough anymore.
There are some ways you can make your Social media a better place to be and I have found that these have worked for me.
- I have turned off all my Facebook notifications and moved the app from my home screen on my phone. This has stopped me checking it every time I look at my phone and to be honest I am glad because I find this the hardest one on how I feel.
- I don't use twitter much anymore due to how shouty it is but I have been asked to do the @Ireland account which I will have to think about. I don't know if I could do a week of anti farming people shouting at me.
- I have let Instagram go and am trying to no longer worry about my growth or what anyone is going to think of my photos. I will take photos of what I enjoy and what makes me happy, like the photo above of the moss with some frost on it.
- I have given a name to my follow/unfollow visitors on Instagram, they are my weekend visitors they come, leave some random comments and are gone never to be seen again.
- Do what you enjoy, I love video and I love sharing my day on stories. I am not sure if anyone wants to see it but I enjoy sharing so I will keep doing it.
- Only follow those who inspire and support you. Those that make you feel under pressure or who share things that upset you hit unfollow or just bloc them. Your social media will be a much nicer place to be and it will be social again.
These have helped me to get rid of some of the pressure of using social media and has made it mostly a good place for me to be. I would love to see workshops for younger users to help them with the pressure and to show them how to make social media social again because if it can have an effect on how I feel about myself and my life at 40yrs, I am sure it is having the same effect on those younger but I am not so sure they would talk about it. They haven't maybe seen just how supportive it can be as a community.
How does your use of social media effect your mood and how you feel daily ? If you want to chat about how you feel about social media leave a comment below or you can find me on the links below.