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Keeping Confident on Social Media

The trends may change, and apps may come and go, but we think it’s safe to say social media is here to stay. By now, we’re all aware that social media is a double-edged sword. It can be great for staying connected with sisters by sending funny videos or sharing memories. And it certainly can come in handy for learning a new skill like cooking or DIY home improvement. Plus, who doesn’t love a clever meme account? However, the downside is that social media can subtly and sneakily affect your confidence. Do you ever notice that you start to feel a little blue after spending a long time scrolling? That’s because oftentimes, the images we see on social media can inadvertently lead us to compare ourselves to others. The best strategy is to be aware and set limits. Here are our best tips for keeping your confidence intact in this age of social media:

Own your feed. Your feed is your space, and you get to decide what you don’t want to see. Some accounts we follow can make us laugh, give us advice or inspire us to be confident. Others, not so much. If anyone you follow makes you feel bad about yourself, directly or indirectly, unfollow them. Worried about hurting feelings if they see you’ve unfollowed? You can also mute an account using the “mute” feature. The people you mute will not be aware that you’ve muted them, and you can always unmute an account at any time. If that’s not enough, you can always block an account.

Follow the feel-good stuff. Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you opened a social app, all you saw was content that makes you feel happy and uplifted? Guess what? It’s easy! Are you obsessed with dog videos? What about crazy-creative makeup looks? Or do you absolutely love an inspirational quote? Follow accounts that post the kind of content you enjoy seeing, and soon your entire feed will only be what boosts your mood!

Don’t be afraid to delete comments. Imagine being the kind of person who leaves rude or hateful comments on someone else’s social media—it’s crazy to fathom, but there are definitely people out there who do it. Even the happiest, most unassuming posts can sometimes attract weird comments or strange DMs from trolls. Don’t think twice about them. Delete, delete, delete. Your social accounts are your personal space, and you can feel empowered to rid your comments section of any and all negativity. Sometimes a mean comment can get under your skin, but it’s always better to just delete it or ignore it than to reply.

Set Limits. How much time on social media is too much? According to research in the opens in a new windowJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology, keeping your use down to just 30 minutes a day can lead to better mental health outcomes. Thirty minutes might seem like a tiny amount compared to the hours we tend to spend scrolling in bed each night before falling asleep. Try to cut back a little every day by replacing time spent on your phone with reading a book, chatting with friends or taking a quiet moment to meditate. Another great trick? Limit time spent on certain apps in your phone settings. Once you set it up, your phone will give you a notification when you’ve spent the allotted time on the app and will make you opt in to keep using it. If that still doesn’t work, take away the temptation completely and turn off your phone! If you’re worried about emergency situations, try leaving your phone across the room where you can’t reach it.