Digital & Online - MENTAL HEALTH

DEALING WITH THE IMPACTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Written by Katie Ormerod / Art by Joyce Lee

Social Media can be great for all sorts of reasons, from checking in on what your friends are doing to watching cute videos of puppies. Yet, what most people hate to admit is that social media can also have a very serious negative impact on mental health.

It is easy to follow glamorous movie stars and supermodels on social media platforms such as Instagram, envying their flawless made-up looks and toned bodies. But as soon as these accounts start making you feel less confident, you need to take a step back and look at yourself. Social media is causing more and more young people to fall into depression because it makes them set unrealistic targets for themselves. Everybody is made in his or her own unique and beautiful way. Most of the time photographs you see on social media aren’t even real! Why waste your one and only precious life wishing you looked like someone who has had his or her photo professionally enhanced, edited or photoshopped, when you are perfect being YOU.

My favourite ways of getting rid of negative social media vibes are:

  1. Unfollow any accounts that make you feel ugly or less confident – you don’t need that to ruin your life.
  2. Follow body-positive accounts, showing REAL people – nothing photoshopped.
  3. Follow more people who INSPIRE you.
  4. Learn to begin loving yourself (post on this coming soon, as we believe at Captain Hale that loving yourself shouldn’t be a superficial process of just telling yourself you love yourself, but actually doing the work to get there) – there’s only one YOU.

You can easily turn your Instagram feed from a place of perpetual self-loathing and envy, into a burst of positivity and inspiration. Just get rid of the negativity by unfollowing any accounts that don’t make you feel good and replace them with whatever motivates you and drives you to succeed. Maybe you follow an athlete you admire, a Yogi, a cook, a musician – the list is endless. Just make sure you are only allowing positive social media accounts into your life.

The same goes for holiday posts. Many people start to feel sad because their social media feeds are filled with tropical island paradises and cute couples in exotic places, whilst they themselves are stuck at home working everyday trying to pay the bills. The main thing to remember here is that it is okay to feel the emotions that surface, whether that be envy, jealousy or resentment. The only time it’s not okay is when it overwhelms your consciousness. In these cases, if you don’t want to unfollow your friends, it’s best to accept the situation and live in the present moment. Appreciate what you have around you, instead of focusing on what you don’t have… or what you THINK you don’t have.  Remember! Social media isn’t always reality. Your friend might have posted a tropical holiday post, but you are also blissfully unaware of their own perception of reality. You never know how they are feeling; appearing to ‘have it all’ doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering on the inside. Stay grateful for even the smallest of things: even when you feel there is nothing to appreciate, remember that you are alive, and how beautiful is that?

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Digital platform portraying contemporary conversations surrounding the realm of health from the perspective of young creatives through various art mediums.