Is it time for a social media cleanse?

May 16, 2024

Social media can be a blessing and a curse, which is why so many of us have a love-hate relationship with social media. 

When used positively it can make us feel connected and less alone, inspired, and motivated. We can use it to learn about ourselves and the world. It can be an incredible professional networking and development tool, as well as the perfect way to build your own personal brand. 

But social media can also negatively affect our sleep, general mood, and self-esteem. It can give us anxiety, fear of missing out, and feelings of constant pressure to look good, always be available, and share our lives with others even when we’d rather not. 

How can we maximize the positives and avoid the negatives?

The first step is to think about what our behaviour patterns are and then figure out what impact these habits are having on our mental well-being. 

Take a moment to answer the following four questions:

  1. How often do you use social media?
  2. Which three words best describe how social media makes you feel?
  • Entertained 
  • Bored 
  • Inspired 
  • Jealous 
  • Happy 
  • Angry 
  • Optimistic 
  • Pessimistic 
  • Depressed 
  • Relieved 
  • Anxious 
  • Excited 
  • Connected 
  • Fulfilled 
  • Lonely 
  • Knowledgeable
  1. When and why does using social media make you feel this way? 
  2. How often do you compare your life to the people you follow online? 

It’s possible that you have a really positive and healthy relationship with social media – and that’s amazing! Or you might have spotted a few things that could be better – most of us are in this boat! 

So now you’ve analysed what your online life looks like, let’s think about what small changes we can make for a more positive time!

Try these 10 things and see if they make a difference: 

  1. Find and follow accounts that inspire and teach you – ask your friends for recommendations too 
  2. Mute, unfollow or block anything that makes you feel bad about yourself – and remember, you don’t need to justify your decisions to anyone! You decide what does and doesn’t feel good to you.  
  3. Avoid checking social media first thing in the morning when you wake up – what you see can influence your entire day ahead
  4. Give yourself a daily time limit and stick to it – set app timers on your phone to reduce the chance of getting swept into endless, mindless scrolling! 
  5. Set yourself small but meaningful goals – for example, to learn one interesting fact a day about a topic that interests you
  6. Take a proper social media break – try deleting all your social media apps for a week, or a few days, and see how it makes you feel
  7. Mute words, phrases, or topics that you know upset or trigger you – you can unmute these later if you need to 
  8. Reach out to someone you haven’t said hello to in a while and let them know you’re thinking of them!
  9. Share things that uplift and inspire you to spread positivity to your circle – and be mindful that if your accounts are public colleagues and employers will see what you post
  10. Avoid checking your phone an hour before bed – the blue light from your screen can interfere with your natural sleep hormones, disrupting the quality of your sleep

We hope these tips help you feel more positive and healthy – especially when spending extra time using social media to support your career growth and development!