Jan. 21, 2020

Social Media Can Be Triggering, Here Are Some Self Care Tips To Help You Get By

For most creatives, social media has become an indispensable tool. It has made it 1000 times easier to get work out there; opening up windows for collaborations, work opportunities and even discovery. A quick scroll down your timeline or feed and you come across tons of content from photographers, musicians, artists and content creators, just to name a few, waiting for your consumption. Unfortunately, while platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat (amongst many others) have opened up a world of opportunity and information that it is right at our fingertips, it has also become increasingly easier to be consumed by the perfectly curated world of social media. From a collection of images, videos and captions that create illusions of seemingly perfect lives to triggering content on controversial subjects including women’s rights, identity, politics, sexuality… the list is endless; social media has managed to become potentially hazardous to our mental health and overall wellbeing. While social media has become essential to our creative pursuits, it is important to be intentional in the way we engage with it. If you’ve found yourself going down a dark, social media rabbit hole, then here are some self-care tips I have found helpful when consuming content on social media.

Remember There is a Real World

As you scroll down a feed of perfect smiles, perfect bodies, and perfectly plated food, always remember that that is not an actual representation of what life is. More often than not, what you see on your timelines has been designed to look a certain way. Life is not an endless vacation with a cocktail in hand, surrounded by friends. Life is full of highs documented on social media and lows that are often kept away for the public eye. So, if you catch yourself feeling a little down because of the perfectly curated lives you see on social media, remember there’s a lot more to life than what is put in front of you.

Check in With Yourself

It’s always important to check in with yourself and ask yourself how you feel before and after time spent on social media. Does what you see make you feel inspired or good about yourself? Or is your experience with social media shrouded in negativity resulting in you feeling down? If you find that the latter is true, then it’s time to become more aware of the content you interact with and do a little social media clean sweep.

“Curate” the Content You Consume

While you’re probably used to curating the content you share on your social media, it’s important to “curate” the content you consume as well. You don’t have to engage with content from accounts that make your social media experience negative. If you follow accounts that trigger you or accounts that share content that’s not in line with what you’re looking for while using social media then don’t hesitate to click on that unfollow button and move on from it. In the words of Ariana Grande, Thank u, next.

Take a break

Too much of anything is poison. Taking a little time away from social media every now and then is definitely a necessity. Take some time to reconnect with yourself and start rediscovering other activities you used to enjoy before social media took over. Go for a walk, paint, sing, dance… every time you feel like it’s getting a bit too much, just take a little time to reboot and re-energize.

Prioritize Your Creativity

With the world of opportunity that has come with social media has also come a load of immense pressure, especially on creatives. Social media users are constantly engaging and consuming content and as a result, people feel the need to constantly put stuff out there for users to interact with. When your peers are constantly sharing their creative works, it becomes very easy to feel the need to share your work on a daily basis just to remain relevant. It’s important to always remember that creativity is a process. You need to consume, reflect, be inspired and then turn that inspiration into a piece of work. Constantly consuming and creating leaves no time for inspiration or reflection and often results in you compromising on the quality of the work you put out. Always take time to enjoy the process and never entertain the urge to rush the process.

Practice Mindfulness

As difficult as it may seem, it’s important we try and make our platforms safe spaces for not only ourselves but also, for those who engage with them. Be mindful of the things you post and share and ensure you create a positive space that people will enjoy.

These tips have helped make my social media experience a lot more enjoyable and with more awareness amongst users, they can help make social media platforms a lot more positive.