Written By
Madi Allred

Good Social Media Practices for Mental Health

Social media has changed the way we communicate and interact with the world. It’s amazing how we’re able to talk to anyone in the world at any time of day! But when misused, social media can become a risk to our mental health. It’s important to have balance in everything, including your online presence. Keep reading for the best social media habits for mental health.

Stay Safe Online

Protect Your Information

The most important part of protecting your mental health while using social media is to start by protecting your information. Be sure to always use different passwords for every website and that each password is unique and complex. Remember to keep your passwords protected, too. Don’t trust anyone you don’t know who is asking for personal information, passwords, or otherwise!

Beware of Cyber-Bullying

A large part of internet safety is ensuring you aren’t putting yourself in a toxic environment. Sadly, many people on the internet are only there to spread hate. Remember, it’s okay to distance yourself from accounts that spread nasty or hateful messaging.

If you have kids that use social media, be vigilant in knowing who they’re talking to. Cyberbullying happens every day online and can cause long-term mental health problems for you or your kids. Don’t give anyone the space to disrespect you through social media!

Take Breaks Regularly

After ensuring you’re safe online, you must regularly step away from online spaces and reconnect with yourself. Social media can be habit-forming to the point where you find yourself consistently refreshing your Twitter feed! Try to create a routine of checking social media. That way, you can step outside of the often overwhelming, never-ending world-wide-web.

You can customize your social media break based on your needs and current schedule. Try it for a few weeks, then see if you want to adjust. For example, you can start by only checking social media in the morning before work. If you decide it’s too much, you could try limiting your use to weekends. No matter what you do, make sure you allow yourself plenty of time for self-care.

During a social media break, a great place to go is our START mental health program. This site is full of great tips and resources when life starts to feel impossible.

Unfollow and Mute

Many social media sites will allow you to mute specific words, topics, or people. Sometimes, out of sight is out of mind! Take a few minutes the next time you log in to customize your feed and mute words that wear down on your mental health. It might be time to clean up your friend list, too.

Social media can be an amazing way to stay connected to friends and family worldwide. Just make sure you’re taking time for yourself, too.