Social media is defined by Oxford Dictionary as websites and applications that enable users to create and share content. It is also defined as one’s participation in social networking. This mechanism of connecting people has been used since the early 90s through graphical chat room servers. The birth of what we now know as social media began in the early 2000s. As it continues to evolve and change over time, social media platforms carry both breakthroughs and problems along the way. With known detrimental effects and problems with the improper use of social media, there are good uses for social media as well and ways to enjoy it positively.
Good Uses for Social Media
According to We Are Social 2018 Digital Report, half the world’s population is now online. It would be difficult to imagine our daily lives without social media. People turn to social media for just about everything, many of them being for good uses—knowledge and information, purchases, professional networking, and even finding your significant other. According to a survey, one in eight married couples in the US first met via social media sites.
Excessive use of social media is raising concern among experts. An average user spends about two hours on social media a day. Even more alarming, teenagers—according to a study by Common Sense Media—spend a staggering nine hours a day on social media. This places them at a higher risk of developing psychological and emotional problems.
8 Ways to Enjoy Social Media Positively
Fortunately, there are ways to create a consistent, positive online experience for yourself and those with whom you interact.
1. Stop Judging and Comparing
The posts that you see on social media do not show the entire picture. No matter how a person’s life may look online, it is unhealthy to draw conclusions on the quality of someone else’s life. Moreover, by looking at the fortunes of others, you forget the gifts that you have. Comparisons can make you lose sight of the things that are truly valuable in life.
2. Spread Love and Encouragement Online
Trolls, bashers, and haters are terms that we associate to negativity on social media. Turn this around by posting more encouraging and uplifting posts. Keep your comments constructive and express ideas in a more positive manner.
3. Connect with Families and Friends
Use social media to enhance your interaction with the people who matter most in your life. Social media can be especially helpful in connecting families and friends separated by distance.
4. Share Personal Goals
Update your friends with how you are achieving these goals. Are you working on having a healthier lifestyle? Share your fitness goals with your friends, and you may just find yourself a wellness buddy. If you’re looking for a new hobby to pursue? Asking your online friends for suggestions can help you get ideas.
5. Give Advice
Create posts that you think will benefit people. Use social media to begin conversations on topics that matter to you most.
6. Educate Yourself
Follow official news pages and media outlets. Watch informative videos from academic and research institutions. This will make the time you stay online worthwhile and meaningful.
7. Share Funny Videos and Photos
Social media can be a way to de-stress through laugh-inducing posts.
8. Use In Moderation
Anything excessive is not good. Regulate screen time for yourself and your kids. Set non-negotiable “no mobile device/no computer” time during meal times, and 30 minutes before bedtime. Set passwords on laptops, computers and Wi-Fi connection to regulate internet use. For adults, do not use mobile devices as alarm clocks. Better yet, do not bring your mobile devices into your bedroom. This will help you curb incessant social media checking.
Social media was invented with the intent to connect us. Used properly it can do just that. However, too much can be addictive and unhealthy. Find a balance that works for you.