TILLAMOOK COUNTY WELLNESS: Tailoring Social Media to Improve Your Mental Health

Social media is a mixed bag of sorts. It can lead to poor sleep quality, and fuel mental and emotional fatigue. It can be a very toxic experience depending on your perspective, how much time you spend on it, who you follow, and how you choose to interact. It can also be a wonderful tool which connects you to the people you love, niche hobby groups, meet-up opportunities, cultural awareness, and so much more! It’s a truly powerful source of communication. The speed in which the information, thoughts, feelings, and concepts within the content is exchanged can quickly overwhelm and exhaust anyone. It’s healthy to sometimes step back and take a break from the virtual world for a period. There are other ways to engage online which might help lessen the stress you’re feeling from the content you consume.

Being intentional about who you follow can make or break your experience online. There is so much aggression and misinformation, curating your feed will change the way you see the world. Follow users who matter to you and unsubscribe from those who cause you undue stress. Some differences in opinion are totally healthy and normal, but if those you follow engage in a way that is disrespectful, what are you gaining from that connection?

Find stimulating content creators that reflect your unique interests. This can help you to meet others virtually and build a real connection over time! You might find a local group meet-up to make friends in person. Social media is intended to foster connection and collaboration, it’s all about how you use it.

On the other hand, seek out accounts from people with diverse interests and perspectives. Find people from cultures completely different than your own. Find people who don’t look or think anything like you and try to put yourself in their shoes. Social media functions by putting us in a labeled box and providing increasingly tailored information to us based on our activity. Building cultural awareness is an intentional process but can lead to unbelievable opportunities and insights.

Sometimes it can seem like there are insurmountable divides in our society, and closing those gaps starts when we see the world through someone else’s eyes. Social media allows us to conveniently see and interact with perspectives from all over the world for the first time in human history. It gets a bad rep, but as with any technology it’s all about how it’s used.

Phones nowadays have locks and filters that can limit the amount of time we spend on social media apps. They have analytic trackers that can show you your usage history. These are valuable tools at your disposal! The distraction of a never-ending news feed can be alluring, but the apps benefit when you lose track of time. Setting timers on your phone will put the power back into your hands. Taking a break from social media all together is a wonderful chance to recalibrate and connect back in with yourself.

Social media should be used to your advantage, not to take advantage of you. Hopefully these tips can help you to feel more in control over your feeds and encourage you to try something new!

 

Other wellness questions? Email us at info@tillamookcountywellness.org. For more local health and wellness information, visit www.tillamookcountywellness.org or follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook and Instagram.