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Healthy Social Media Habits

These tips are all about how to use social media in a healthy and positive way!

Turn your phone on silent. You will be less distracted and it will be easier to focus on the task at hand.

If you ever see or find yourself in an argument with an internet "troll", find safe and healthy ways to respond, or don't respond at all. Your silence will be a strong message that you won't engage with that negativity.

Constant negativity in the news can affect your mental health. Take a news break, or check out sites like Positive.News and Good News Network.

Try tracking your media consumption on a weekday or weekend. Results may be surprising and helpful in understanding your media habits. 

Media can show a narrow idea of beauty. Search #effyourbeautystandards for some diverse images, helpful articles and inspirational quotes.

If you're having trouble sleeping, try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bed time, or try a screen dimming app.

Try this: post a funny meme twice a week on one of your social media accounts and see the reaction from others. A laugh can be a nice break!

Review your privacy settings in all your social media platforms! It is so important to protect who has access to your accounts.

Comparing yourself to others on social media can lead to misery. Let everyone express themselves without comparing yourself to their "highlight reel". You are your own kind of wonderful!

Do you have a fear of missing out? You won't miss anything if you take a few hours or days away from social media. The pics and posts last a lifetime and will be there when you get back to it. No worries!

You can still be "friends" with someone on facebook but "unfollow" them so you won't see their posts. Some people post too much negativity, or just too much in general, and that can be annoying or frustrating.

Make an announcement on your social media accounts that you will be taking some time off! Encourage others to do the same and connect with them face to face.

Think about what you're posting. If you wouldn't want your teacher, grandmother or boss to see it, consider if it's worth posting.

Unfollow any groups, companies, sales persons, etc. that stress you out or make you feel poorly. Anytime you see posts that you don't like, go to their page and unfollow. We call this "spring cleaning". Follow authentic accounts that interest you!

On social media, share images or quotes that you love and enjoy as a way to show people a side of you. It can't be all positive and happy times in life, but you can look back through those uplifting posts whenever you feel down as a helpful reminder that it's not all bad either.

Studies show social media usage can have a negative impact on self-esteem. It's a lot of pressure to look a certain way or feel like you need to be successful and happy all the time. Take space away from social media if you're feeling down on yourself.

Remember that real life is not represented accurately on social media. We don't typically take pictures of messy houses and when we cry, so don't feel bad about what you see.

Post polls on your social media accounts. You can make them engaging and have some fun with your friends. Asking a question and asking people to comment with GIFs is fun too!

Are you just scrolling through your social media feed or are you actively using it? Studies show that people who message, post and share, feel better than those who just scroll through.

If you find that you spend too much time scrolling through your feed, schedule "social media time" — set a start and end time and stick to it.

If you find it really difficult to avoid social media, delete the apps off your phone. That way you will avoid notifications and urges to check your phone.

Set a purpose for logging in. For example, maybe you want to wish your friend a happy birthday or share an article. Make sure to log out after you have completed that task. Hopefully this will help you waste less time online.

Create a phone-free zone, for example your bedroom or living room. When you enter this zone, turn off your device. This will lead to fewer distractions and you will be developing a healthy habit.

When you can, try to see people in person instead of connecting with them through social media. FaceTiming someone will never be as satisfying as seeing them face to face.

If you find it difficult to put the phone down and go to sleep, invest in an alarm clock and charge your phone in another room.

If you are hanging out with friends or loved ones, put your phone away (in your pocket or bag) or put it upside down so you aren't distracted by incoming notifications.

If you have the option of leaving your phone at home, give it a try. It might not be as bad as you think; you might be so busy engaging in life that you don't even miss it!

Once you have tracked how much time you spend on social media, set some offline goals. If you spend two hours a day online perhaps you could take one hour (or two) to work towards a goal like learning something new, etc.

If you have a quick break, do you automatically reach for your phone? Try reading, doodling, writing a to-do list or a quick mindfulness excercise instead.

Changing your social media habits can be difficult. Try to recruit a friend to do this with you. They can provide you with tips, support and ideas that work for them.