It’s no secret that social media takes a toll on people’s mental health. Countless studies have explored how users continuously compare themselves and their lives to their peers and strangers, seeking validation while feeling like they aren’t measuring up. Numerous people have become addicted to social media and have fallen into depression because of it, experiencing thoughts like “I hate myself” due to the images that other social media users try to present (and much of social media is a facade, anyway). If you relate to this, then it is imperative that you seek therapy and counseling; I licensed therapist can help you overcome depression and feelings of inadequacy.
What if you need to use social media for business, though, or are you trying to grow your personal brand? Relying on social media for marketing is tricky because you need to spend time online and present yourself in a certain way without it negatively impacting your mental health. To minimize the potential of social media taking its toll on you, here are a few tips for managing your accounts without sacrificing your mental wellness:
Control your feeds
Put thought and effort into who you follow. If you follow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself, unfollow them immediately. Even if you are using social media for a business and not a personal brand—and are therefore not presenting yourself online—it is essential to prioritize your own wellbeing and only follow accounts that add value to both your health and your job. Trimming the number of users you follow will also help you feel less overwhelmed by reducing online chaos.
You can also control comments on your Instagram posts. If dealing with nasty comments is taking a toll on your mental health, feel free to block particular words and phrases so that you never have to see them again. Don’t hide fair criticism of your business, but you do not need to deal with outright vitriol.
Limit your screen time
Set limits for your time on social media, too. Don’t spend any more time online than you need to: go in with a mission, get to work, and get out. Refrain from scrolling endlessly and browsing content that has nothing to do with your goals. Set aside particular hours for social media time if you need to—but once they’re over, they’re over, and you’ll have to resume other tasks tomorrow.
Social media analytics tools can be beneficial for marketing online. You’ll give yourself a headache if you try to figure everything out manually. What is it about some posts that make them perform better than others? What are the best times of day to post? Which content incentivizes the most engagement? What are your audience demographics? Resources like Sprout Social and Hootsuite can tell you relevant insights into your campaigns so that you can adjust them accordingly. Some tools even give you actionable advice to maximize your reach, so spare yourself the hassle of trial-and-error and give yourself an advantage.
Take advantage of automation
You also do not have to perform each task manually, either. Between generating content, posting, liking, commenting, and interacting with followers, you have a lot on your plate—no wonder social media can take such a toll on people’s mental health, it’s overwhelming if they are trying to achieve something with it. While you should be the one creating and posting your content, there are tools available—some of which come included with analytics—that can handle the tedious tasks for you (such as liking other users’ posts).
You can also use tools that tell you the best Twitter and Instagram hashtags. Hashtags are integral elements of both platforms and make your content more discoverable. They also help you find other people interested in your industry, so resources like Hashtag for Likes ensure that you don’t waste your time tagging your posts with hashtags that do not maximize your visibility.
Put your health first. Feeling depressed, anxious, or addicted is not worth growing your audience. Something you can do to reduce stress is to take CBD gummies (which cannot get you high; CBD is non-intoxicant) or practice daily meditation. Many studies attest to the benefits of meditation, which enhances emotional health while improving sleep and blood pressure. There is even research that suggests meditation can combat addiction. Eat nutritious food, sleep regular hours, exercise, and take time to relax. Do not compare your highs and lows to only the highs you see on social media; even those of your business competitors.
Social media can be helpful for businesses and helping people connect, but it should not come at the cost of your wellbeing. Do not devote too much effort into it—use the right tools, and remember that your mental health is far more important than your brand’s image.