Making social media work for you

We know that social media, TV, films and magazines can sometimes make us compare ourselves to other people. Very often this is unhelpful as the images we see are often altered to give an unrealistic view of how people look in ‘real life’. Almost everyone makes unhelpful comparisons, and it can make us feel upset, anxious, or angry. It can affect our body image and self-esteem. At Changing Faces we have put together some top tips on making social media work for you, and how to recognise if its having a negative impact on your wellbeing.

How are you feeling after you have been on social media?

  • Do you notice that your mood is low after spending time on social media?
  • Or do you notice any other emotions?
  • Do you feel angry or anxious?
  • Are you looking at specific things and making unhelpful comparisons?

If you notice any of these things it might be time to consider a break or reducing the time spent on social media.

Limit your time on social media

  • Think about how much time you spend on social media now (or how often you check social media)
  • Think about how long you want to reduce this by
  • Think about what you could be doing instead
  • Reward yourself by doing things you enjoy

Also, lots of people regularly take a social media ‘break’. They may delete the app from their phone and not check social media for a while. See how you feel after a break. Another way is to limit yourself – look only once a day on your laptop, rather than constant checking on your phone.

Think about who you ‘follow’ on social media

There are some very inspiring people on social media who post lots of helpful tips about how to be confident. Some of these people have a visible difference.

However, it’s important that you don’t try to compare yourself to anyone else. No one is the same and no day is the same, everyone has good and bad days. How you feel is about you. Just because one person might seem to be doing really well, it doesn’t mean you have to feel this way. It’s also important not to compare your appearance or recovery to others because again, everyone is different and our bodies are different which means people have different outcomes. The most important thing to remember is that the way people present themselves online is not always the reality.

Think about who you are ‘friends’ with

  • If you are on Facebook think about who you have on your ‘friends’ list. Are these people helpful friends to have – are they supportive of you? Do they share the same views? Some people do a regular review of their friends and delete those they are not really ‘friends’ with.
  • On Twitter you might want a private account so people can only see your posts if you add them.
  • Have a private Instagram account and be selective who has access to your photos
  • These steps can also stop you having to deal with any negative comments or ‘trolls’.

Dealing with trolls

Unfortunately, some people on social media make nasty or hurtful comments to people. Some people set up accounts just for this reason! You can report any abuse on social media (there is normally a report button), or you may wish to simply delete or block the ‘troll’. Try to avoid responding to them as this can lead to more horrible comments and can actually be more upsetting. Trolls are often just looking for attention – ignoring them means they don’t get this.

Society and body image


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