Making social media work for you

We know that social media, TV, films and magazines can sometimes make us compare ourselves to other people. Everyone does this, it isn’t just people who have a visible difference, but it can be very upsetting and can make us feel that we are not good enough as we are. Here are some top tips on making social media work for you.

Ask yourself – how are you feeling after you have been on social media? 

  • How often does it make you feel good?
  • How often does it make you feel bad?
  • What things make you feel good or bad?

Spend less time on social media

If you often feel bad, it might be time to consider a break or reducing the time spent on social media:

  • Think about how much time you spend on social media now – is it a lot of time? Do you feel like you have to check it all the time and see how many likes or comments you have? Think about how this makes you feel
  • Would it help you if you looked at it less?  For example, you might say you will only look once a day on your laptop.
  • Think about the interesting things you could be doing instead – things that make you feel good.
  • Lots of people take a social media ‘break’ – a bit like taking a holiday from it. Delete the app and don’t check social media for a week! See how you feel after a break.

Think about who you ‘follow’ on social media

There are some very inspiring people on social media who post about how to be confident or how to cope with different situations. Some of these people have a visible difference.

There are also some people who don’t behave in a very nice way or who make other people feel bad.

Try not to compare yourself to other people. No one is the same all the time and no day is the same – we all have good and bad days. Who you are – and what you do and think and feel is about you. Just because you see someone doing really well, it doesn’t mean you have to feel this way. Some days you will be okay – other times not. It is the same for them – even if they are not showing this. The way people present themselves online is not always the reality.

It’s also important not to compare your appearance or recovery to others. Everyone is different and our bodies are different – and we are unique.

Think about who you follow – who makes you feel good or makes you laugh or whose posts you enjoy? Who makes you feel bad or low or worthless? Follow the good people. And stop following the others.

Control your accounts

If you are on Facebook think about who you have on your ‘friends’ list – you can ‘unfriend’ people without them knowing you have done this.

On Twitter, you might want a private account so people can only see your posts if you add them.

Same with Instagram – you can set your account so you have to approve anyone who wants to follow you – so you can check them out first.


Unfortunately, some people are on social media just to make horrible 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). It can be good to do this, as then the company responsible for the channel can take notice.

To stop comments, the best thing to do is 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. Tell someone you trust and talk it through with them.

For more information on dealing with comments face to face, see our sheet on Handling Comments

Handling comments


What can I do about bullying?


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