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5 Ways To Deal With Social Media Toxicity

If you have become so used to picking up your phone every single time a notification bell rings on your phone or if you scroll through social media without thinking for several hours, it is time to take a social media break!

With so much information just a click away, social media can be both overwhelming and upsetting. There is no doubt that social media has become a scary place these days. When something happens in the world it gets widespread within a few hours on social media. Even if we know that something on our feed is probably going to bother us, we are still so used to scrolling through it. It’s almost like an obsessive compulsion.

Let’s dig deep into a few reasons why social media has become so toxic: 

  1. Social media has become a marketing strategy.
  2. It has become a place to describe your social status.
  3. Social media users are tempted to post sensationalized content themselves, taking away their true personalities.
  4. It feels like we don’t know anything inducing the fear of missing out or the fear of not being knowledgeable enough.
  5. It has limited the actual face-to-face social interactions.
  6. It can create an emotional riot because we tend to misjudge lengthy rants that are read without the benefit of body language or tone of voice which leads to misspeaking, misunderstanding, and misinterpreting others.

Here are some valuable tips on how to prevent social media toxicity:

  1. Keep scrolling and avoid indulging in an angry exchange of words

Find and follow only those things that make you happy. If you suddenly come across something offensive which can take you off guard, try not to indulge in an angry exchange of words. Just keep scrolling! Make a mental note of what you don’t like. If you come across something dangerous, racist, or defamatory, or if it violates the terms and conditions of a social media platform, you have the option of reporting it.

  1. Do not share your opinions

Avoid sharing an opinion on social media because it would not result in a healthy, constructive discussion. Instead, it will become a thread of opinions converting into personal attacks which are unhealthy and non-productive. Avoid getting emotionally involved in a conversation. Don’t take other people’s opinions personally. If you still would like to share your opinion, try not to get into a back-and-forth conversation. Always keep in mind that there are “trollers” all over social media networks nowadays who are hired. They might not even be a real person. If you see a negative comment, ignore it and move along.

  1. Learn to detach, unfollow, or unfriend

If you find personally offensive comments and you can’t seem to let them go, you can choose to remove them from your social media. You can unfollow, block or just restrict their profiles. It is important to set healthy virtual boundaries. If someone is bothering you, it is the right time to cut ties with them. Not everyone should be allowed in your life or your creative expression of it. Choose quality over quantity.

  1. Change of feed is important

Another way to improve the social media feed is to start paying attention to what you are providing your mind via the feed because what we see has a great effect on our mood and our understanding. For instance, if you are trying to lose weight follow the pages that promote healthy weight loss and not fad diets. Go through only those accounts that can contribute something positive to your life. Look through their last few posts and see if they offer something beneficial. If not, get rid of it.

Evaluate and unfollow misleading or inflammatory pages. Commit to having a useful feed. Once you’ve cleared up your profile, look for the right pages and people to follow. Fill your feed with productive and positive pages. Follow people who are inspirational and informative.

  1. Learn to take a step back

If all of the above has been tried and have failed, take a step back from social media. Take a break. When you feel inadequate without social media and you get frustrated, go outside, move your body, or exercise. Go out with friends on a lunch date. Plan a movie marathon with your movie-loving friends. Instead of sharing a picture on Instagram, live in the moment. Learn to take care of your mental health. 

To conclude, to minimize the toxic effects of social media, you have to put in conscious efforts. There are plenty of chances that you may fall back into the trap from time to time because this is the digital era. But with constant effort, you will be able to manage. Though it seems like a hard task to achieve, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive to live more peacefully and less jittery.