“Distracted from distraction by distraction.”
~ T. S. Eliot

Social media has become the link, the link that links us all in an ever expanding virtual community. A community much wider, bigger and beyond anyone’s control.

It will make you feel popular one moment and deserted the next. It can leave you feeling quite lost if you don’t bring along your only defense-a sense of humour.

“Yet the best determining factor of how comfortable we are with ourselves, is our ability to laugh at ourselves.”
~Wes Adamson

A lot of people are of the opinion that social media tends to make people feel low and depressed. That makes sense; looking at the selective best moments of friends, seemingly living better lives will do that to anyone.

Social media has some serious issues and it’s negative effects can’t be ignored. But we can’t avoid it’s use completely.

We’re dependent on it whether for sharing information and reaching out to wider communities. The truth is good or bad we are all hooked to it.

“I wish I knew how to quit you, Tumblr.”
~ John Green

We can’t avoid using it but we definitely can avoid some of it’s negative effects.

How?

Whenever you’re using any social media platform, remember the following ten simple rules to avoid negative effects of social media

{You can click on any point from the list below to jump straight to the point}

Rule #1
Don’t take anything personally

Rule #2
Laugh at yourself

Rule #3
Do not indulge in unnecessary comparisons

Rule #4
There is no such thing as the perfect life

Rule #5
Curb your enthusiasm to share personal information at all cost

Rule #6
Never ever share anything when you’re feeling emotionally charged up

Rule #7
Keep a limit on the time you spend on social media

Rule #8
Use every setting available to minimize distractions

Rule #9
Acknowledge your feelings, even of jealousy and envy

Rule #10
Last but not the least, love your real life more than the virtual


Ten simple rules to avoid negative effects of social media

Social media, ten rules

Rule #1

Don’t take anything personally

social media, don't take it personally
Don’t take this (or that) personally!

Do not ever take anything said to you by anyone personally. Even if the person has used your first name or has pointed out something from your personal life, don’t take it personally. You might get tempted to do otherwise but it will only do more harm and no good at all.

Rule #2

Laugh at yourself

Negative effects of social media
Self serve some laughs for yourself & for others!

If you don’t want others to laugh at you first, then laugh at yourself before anyone else. When you have the ability to laugh at yourself, other people’s opinions won’t matter to you so much. It will also make you look like an amusing and funny person, and people love amusing and funny persons.

Rule #3

Do not indulge in unnecessary comparisons

Simple rules, social media effects
Don’t do it!

We compare our lives with others and then we feel awful about our own lives. We all do it, we know it’s wrong but we still do it. There is no point or use in comparing my life with yours, because we are two different people living two completely different lives.

Besides, one beautiful flower shouldn’t feel any less beautiful because of existence of thousands of other equally beautiful flowers. Bad anecdote but a good point, the point being: you are no less or no more than any other human on this planet.

Rule #4

There is no such thing as the perfect life

Social media simple rules
There’s no perfect life, there’s only ‘too good to be true’

Have you ever felt like some of your friends on social media are living the ultimate perfect lives? Meanwhile the best thing to happen to you in months was only free WiFi!

But think twice before you let a few pictures and the status updates deceive you into thinking less of your own life.

Who knows, you might be looking at one of my good days during one of your bad, and vice versa! No one has 365 good days, what I usually have is somewhere close to 65!

Rule #5

Curb your enthusiasm to share personal information at all cost

Negative effects of social media
& sometimes it’s a good thing, remember stranger-danger?

Once a piece of information goes out on the internet, there’s no way of taking it back and removing it from the Internet. Even if you delete it later, there is no guarantee that it’s removed completely. It might still be lying somewhere without you knowing anything about it.

You also need to be cautious sharing personal information such as your location, financial status, etc. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Rule #6

Never ever share anything when you’re feeling emotionally charged up

Social media negative effects
No! May be later?

When you are feeling emotionally pumped up, you might say something that you’re going to regret later on. Strong emotions such as anger, hurt, etc can make us think and act without clear perspective of the situation.

Don’t do or say anything in the heat of the moment. If you must let out the heat, unleash it. Write everything down on your private diary or make a draft of it. Later on when you’re not under the influence of any extreme emotions, review your draft. If you feel it won’t hurt you or anyone else in anyway, then go ahead and click publish.

Rule #7

Keep a limit on the time you spend on social media

Ten simple rules, social media
Now that’s what I call innovation!

Too much of anything is never good. And when it comes to the social media, too much of it is definitely very very bad. It will mess up your schedules, your peace of mind and gradually your whole life.

If you think I’m exaggerating then try using social media for longer hours few days of the week and you will realize how heavy and how messed up it can get.
(Caution: Don’t try this… risks involved… health Hazards… Don’t try this)

Limit the daily use of social media to an hour (max) and keep a tab on it. Be more aware of the time spent on social media sites. Never stay on such sites for a long time on a stretch and don’t forget to blink!

Rule #8

Use every setting available to minimize distractions

Social media, avoid negative effects
Use soap phone- to keep that finger busy & clean too!

If you can’t do something drastic like disabling updates of your friends, you can still use some other settings to avoid seeing regular updates.
With Facebook you can set newsfeed preferences according to your own need. Go to the sidebar, then go to help & settings, click on News Feed preferences.

Make the necessary changes and prioritize who to see first according to your own preference. This will prevent loading updates from your friends and instead you can view posts by inspirational pages, etc.

With other apps like twitter, there’s unfortunately no such setting. The only thing you can do to minimize distractions is scroll less and with care.

Rule #9

Acknowledge your feelings, even of jealousy and envy

Avoid negative effects of social media
Feel all of your feelings! Feel better! You got this!

When we are on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, etc; we are exposed to a lot of information. Such information may produce negative emotions such as jealousy, envy, etc. When we look at perfect lifestyles and vacation pictures of our friends or other such happy status updates, any normal person working hard to make ends meet can start thinking negatively.

We need to first acknowledge those emotions without any judgements. They are negative but they are not evil, until and unless you act in a way to make it otherwise. Even negative emotions needs to be felt, faced and dealt with to free your mind of it’s negativity.

Rule #10

Last but not the least, love your real life more than the virtual

Negative effects, social media
One life to live, might as well love it!

Be grateful for the blessings and wishes you have been granted. People who truly care about you might not be following you on social media, but they will always stand by you no matter what.

Be in the moment, play-run, cook-eat, meet-connect, go out-stay in. There is so much life to live and fun to have, all in your own real life!

Conclusion

Social media has revolutionized our ways of sharing, making the world a small place! Each of us can connect to each other and share our thoughts, ideas and inspirations no matter the physical distance between us.

Everyone has a voice and thanks to social media we can all voice our opinion in front of the whole world. This is the stuff that unites, inspires and brings about change.

With due consideration to the positive side of social media, there are some serious challenges and negative effects of using social media in day to day life.

But if we are a little careful with our social media lives, we can avoid or at least minimize it’s negative effects.

Be more mindful of your time using social media. Lesser the time spent on social media, better will be your peace of mind. A restless mind is not at all pleasant or healthy in the long run. Don’t let social media get in the way of your sound, safe and peaceful mind.

I hope this article and the ten simple rules to help you avoid negative effects of social media will be of some utility to you!


💬 Do share your thoughts on this article or the topic.

💬 What do you feel about today’s obsession over social media?

Thank You for reading 🌻 

36 thoughts on “Ten simple rules to avoid negative effects of social media

  1. Loved reading the post, very well written 🙂 I used to spend quite a lot of time on Facebook before but of late I have become disenchanted by it and so also with other social media, partly because better things now keep me occupied in my personal and professional life that I hardly get time to spare for social media and partly because these social media now seem to be crowded up with a lot of pseudo-friends and emotional voyeurs. That apart, these days we find quite a few out there who are quite opinionated and who don’t take disagreements kindly, instead resort to verbal conflicts.

    Like

  2. This was truly amazing! Thank you for following me but more importantly thank you for writing about this topic and sharing these ten tips. I struggled about three years ago with learning to stop compare my life with others and the virtual life. It’s been amazing since, I’ve grown to love myself more and more. Deleted all my social media sites, and slowly added them back (I’m still off a few), but the point of it all is we have to love ourselves and our lives before anything else. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These are all very good points and rules. I am of an older generation so I did not grow up with Social Media and my kids who are now in their 30s did not encounter social media either until they were finished school. But now both of them work in marketing and social media. I think social media can take over your life and not in a very healthy way so your post is timely and worthwhile!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am not on any social media except work press… Even that sometimes affects me. Love your real life more… That is my take away… No matter how many likes you get.. virtual people don’t matter… Thanks for such a wonderful article… Lived reading it…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Great read – I cringe to think how much creativity has gone out the window with social media sucking so much time out of creatives lives. Definitely where will power and boundaries come into play for every individual. Turn off, tune out, CREATE! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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