5 Ways to Keep Social Media's Toxic Effect From Hurting You

Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. Facebook. I know I am not alone in my addiction to social media sites. While it has done a lot of good by bringing people together, it is not as innocent as it seems. Social media can do significant damage to people's self-esteem, confidence, and overall positivity.

Social media gives me FOMO (fear of missing out, for those of you who don't know). Whenever I see someone post about a vacation they are taking, I feel lame for not taking one. If I go on social media and see friends going out, I worry about why they didn't invite me.

These social networks also make me feel bad about myself. If someone gets a promotion at work or gets accepted into graduate school, I feel insecure about where I am in my life. If I see someone lose weight, I feel insecure about my body. It doesn't help to constantly see weight loss photos and beautiful people in their swimsuits on my suggested Instagram feed.

I hate that social media can make me feel bad about myself. And I don't think I am alone in the feeling. But I also enjoy the other aspects of social networking so if you are like me, consider the tips I practice!

1. Don't go on social media when you are feeling down!

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We all have bad mental health days. Days where we are negative and feel like we aren't good enough. When I feel this way, I try to stay off of social media. But that sure is a lot easier to write than to do!

I also try to do something nice for myself. Like maybe I will take a nap, walk my dog, or go shopping instead!

2. Set time limits on your apps.

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If you want to limit your daily social media use (or that of any app), you can track app usage through your Apple phone. This has helped my boyfriend and I notice when we have been on an social networking app for too long!

3. Unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself.

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If you follow a fitness account on Instagram that posts all the time and only make you feel unhealthy, unfollow them. If you are friends on Facebook with a person you had one class with who is living your dream life, unfriend them.

At first it seems difficult or unreasonable but as I started unfriending and unfollowing, it just got easier! Now my feeds are filled with people I want to know about!

4. Delete accounts you no longer use.

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If you have unused social media apps on your phone, delete them. I don't use Tumblr anymore so I got rid of it. Deleting it prevented me from being tempted into opening the app and then getting down on myself.

5. Get into another hobby!

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If you want to limit phone use, you need to find something else to do with your hands. Like I try reading or playing catch with my dog instead. You could also play an instrument, crochet, or write.

Social media may not be toxic to you but it can be for many people with mental health issues. If you have any issues with your self-esteem or confidence, try to consider the amount of time you spend on social media. Maybe that is part of the reason. Limiting the time could make you feel better about yourself.

Social media was not designed to make people feel bad about themselves but sometimes it feels like it is. There are ways to still use social media and not feel this way; these tips are a good way to have a phone and social media balance.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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