4 Ways to Cope with the Pressures of Social Media

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[title subtitle="Wellness Wednesdays With Blare June"]How To Fight FOMO[/title]

It's no secret that many of us enjoy scrolling through our carefully curated Instagram feed of fashion bloggers and style influentials. In fact, our voyeuristic tendencies rarely stop there. Oftentimes, we also enjoy watching exclusive behind-the-scenes Snapchat stories posted by models like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner.

The days of looking to only our most stylish, fashionable, and trendy friends for restaurant and clothing recommendations have since been replaced by the option to seek inspiration elsewhere. In this new social media era, we look towards the "Insta-famous" for guidance on what to cook, what to eat, what to wear, and where to travel.

While there is no denying the many benefits of our vasty improved communication platforms–like how else would you stay in touch with you dear Aunt Lucy?–the endless information that constantly snowballs our way can be overwhelming. It's not just envying the supposed glamorous life of head cheerleader from our small town that we have to worry about. Instead, we're reminded by millions of people, those we don't even know personally, about trips around the world we have yet to take, workout trends we have yet to try, and that engagement ring we have yet to receive.

What happens when looking at the lives of others starts to affect our own mental well-being and leaves us feeling bummed?

Here are 4 ways to cope with the pressures of social media!

 

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“Highlight Reel”

It's important to remember that when we scroll through somebody else's feed, whether it a friend's or a stranger's, we are only getting a glimpse of his or her life. In some ways, our quick forays, might not even tell us the situation's whole truth.

Because we are all in control of how we wish to be portrayed online, we must not forget that others are afforded the same luxury. In the same way that it's easier for us to post an adorable picture of a newborn than it is to cough up stories of exhaustion and sleepless nights, it's equally effortless if not second nature for others to write statuses about their dream homes than the sweat, blood, and tears that went into building it.

 

When comparing our "highlight reels" to those of others, we must not forget that there is more than meets the eye. Come on now, we're all guilty of taking more than one shot for that perfect picture. Next time you're scrolling through someone else's glamorous photo feed, think his or her lighting and filter options. Then, chuckle a little, pick yourself up, and move on.



“An Option for a Reason”

"Unfollow" and "Block" options can prove quite nifty. Other than using them to block a pervert or unfollow an ex, the buttons can also be used to help maintain your self-esteem. If at any point you find yourself feeling extra bummed reading about the lives of others, it's totally okay to purge your follow list.

Do not, however, make the decision impulsively. Just because you're having a bad day and your cousin's pictures from her recent trip to St. Barths is ticking you off even more, does not give you the all clear to press unfollow. Take a deep breath, put your technological device down, and go for a walk. It's always good to take a break from social media before coming back to make a semi-permanent decision.



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“Selectivity”

It's natural for us to gravitate towards different types of feeds. Whether it food recipes, humorous quotes, or fashion posts, we all have our preferences and niches.

Some accounts may bring you more happiness than others. Be attuned to your feelings. If a fitness guru makes you feel extra bummed about your body, try focusing on a different channel that boasts DIY projects of adorable puppies.



“V-A-C-A-Y”

While I would love to up and quit the pressures social media by hopping on a private jet to an exotic island, the option is not always there. That said, a holiday from social media is still always an option.

If going on a hiking trip with friends, leave your phone at home. If hanging out at the park, try bringing a book. We don't need to peace out completely to be on a break. In fact, it's really just about being mindful of our frequency of use.

While you may not see your friend's adorable #OOTD immediately, know that her picture will still be there when you reconnect with your phone.



 

Social media is an amazing tool to help us connect with others in ways we never could before. It allows us to receive news almost instantaneously and gain knowledge in a much quicker way than we could have in the past. At the same time, the platform does not replace face-to-face social interaction and it is vital we are mindful of that.