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3rd May 2022
Exam Pressure

World Social Media Day

30th Jun 2021

Once upon a time we had a telephone. Then came the era of a fax machine, followed by a scanner. And then, mobile phones imploded into our world along with social media and suddenly, the way we communicate was changed forever.

World Social Media Day gives us the opportunity to mark all the good that social media can bring to our lives. In an unprecedented year it has given many the chance to escape loneliness, connect with those they can’t see and find new connections within their local communities.

Social media receives such polarised opinions that it can be hard to find the right balance. And that balance is different for us all. The term ‘digital detox’ is one that is used a lot but sometimes without a full understanding of what that term can mean. As a result, it can instill fear in us about attempting one. A digital detox does not have to be not using our devices at all, it can be limiting time, or limiting time on one particular app or avoiding use at a particular time of day. It’s about taking back control over our time spent on social media as it’s when we lose that control those things can start to feel overwhelming.

And then there are the pressures and perceptions over our social media use. ‘I feel pressured to post’ many say to us. Or that they feel if they don’t post then it looks as though they aren’t happy or enjoying their lives. The flip side is others who feel they are judged if they do post whilst away on a holiday or taking time off. ‘Why aren’t you enjoying it instead of spending time on your phone?’ can be a criticism that many take to heart and as a result then feel pressure ‘not to post’ photos on their social media either. Both sides of this can lead to feelings of inadequacy, insecurity and a constant and unnecessary pressure around how and why we use our social media in the way we do.

The issue for many is how what another person posts can impact on how we feel about ourselves. Seeing someone else’s controlled content can make us feel our lives are somehow inferior or that we should be doing more. We begin to compare and that leads to feelings of inadequacy. Likewise, when we do post we become concerned by the amount of ‘likes’ we get or the number of followers we have. At what point then does it stop being about connecting and start being about comparing?

It is at that point, where connection turns to comparison, that it could be suggested social media is in control over you rather than you being in control over it, and it could well be that lack of control that is making you feel negative rather than the social media platform itself.

Social Media is here to stay. Awareness and a control over our use of it are at the heart of making our time on social media a positive experience. Whilst it is an everchanging landscape, we can help you stay up to date with it. We offer E-Safety courses for children, for Parents and for Professionals in order to assist you. An awareness over how it all works and how to stay safe can make it feel a far less overwhelming place.

Some quick wins to take back control:

  1. Turn off notifications. Let it be your decision how and when you access the platforms. Don’t let them decide it for you.
  2. Mute accounts that cause you to feel comparison rather than connection. This means you don’t have to unfollow or unfriend someone, but it can be your choice when to access their content rather than it automatically appearing in your newsfeeds and timelines.
  3. Download our free Digital Detox Journal and take a real and honest look at your social media use. What accounts make you happy, which apps make you sad. When did you last do this? You will be really surprised at your findings.

Stop the passive scrolling. Engage, connect and inspire others with your comments on others posts. Make your time today spent on Social Media today the best it can be.

 

 

Written by, Lucy Howard, BulliesOut Digital Communications Officer

Photo Credit: File Image

 

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