Tips for a healthy approach to social media

Nate Smith | LTVN Sports Director

For better or worse, social media has become a constant in all of our lives. It has become a place that we look at to keep us connected, entertained and informed during the slower parts of our day. However, it is no secret that social media as a whole has become more nuanced than anyone could have ever envisioned. It is a place that can almost simultaneously be hurtful, healthy, harsh and kind.

With all of that in mind, it can be easy to think life may be better if you just log off of your socials all together. While a complete social media blackout may very well be a great way to clear your mind, in my eyes it seems incredibly unrealistic.

You can’t go complete cold turkey after using a product every day for years and expect a sustainable result. Since a complete disconnect from social media is so unrealistic for many of us, I think it’s a great idea to take a few easy steps to ensure that your social media experience is as healthy and enjoyable as possible.

First off, unfollow people or accounts that post things that you don’t want to see on your timeline. As simple as it sounds, this one goes forgotten pretty often. Although it may not feel like it due to some of the connotations that go with following or not following someone on social media, you ultimately have control over who you follow.

There’s no reason to let someone bog you down with their own problems and negativity when you have control over whether or not they do so. If you wanted to take this a step further, I would suggest following an account that posts content that you actually enjoy as a replacement of the account you just unfollowed.

Another easy, yet effective measure you can take to change your social media experience for the better is making use of the mute function. Most platforms have a mute function, meaning that you can keep certain accounts, topics and even certain words off of your timeline without anyone knowing you’ve done so. This is especially great if the account in question belongs to a close friend or family member that wouldn’t take kindly to you unfollowing them.

Lastly, if all else fails you can always go with the nuclear option. The dreaded unfollow. This needs no explanation. It almost always causes issues when you decide to hit the big red button and unfollow somebody, but it is also the only option on this list that is 100 percent fool-proof. Be warned, this should only be used in the most dire of circumstances. If you’re going to use this, please use it wisely. If it just stirs up more drama and negativity, it ultimately just isn’t worth it.

Obviously it is impossible to make your social media experience completely devoid of unwanted nonsense, but give these tips a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed.