how to: use social media (+ be happier)

we hear a lot of bad about social media; how it’s the downfall of a generation, a petri dish for bullying and directly correlated to increased risk of anxiety and depression.

and all those things may be true. but social media is a tool. like a knife or a hammer or a screwdriver, it can be used to build and create or destroy and tear down. tools are not inherently or intrinsically bad or good, it is only how we choose to use them that creates value. 

it can spark revolution, entire movements can be born via a hashtag. it can connect people thousands of miles away and give us insight into worlds different from our own. it can cultivate friendships and relationships and love. it can lift up campaigns, raising millions of dollars for incredible causes. it can call attention to tragedy, amplify the rallying cry of protest. it can overthrow governments, build organizations, cultivate community.

for better or for worse, it has and will continue to change the world.

I agree that this ecosystem of likes and the constant highlight reels of unattainable lives can be dangerous. it can become comparative and defeating. i take regular social media cleanses or breaks periodically when the constant, constant connection can feel exhausting. when i’m thinking too much about other problems or i’m feeling a little fragile or when i’m projecting my own frustration at something in my own life onto people posting happy things or when the current events in the world overwhelm me beyond productivity. 

the thing about social media is that you get to choose how you use it or if you use it at all. a few months ago, i decided to be more intentional about the content i ingest everyday whether that be on purpose or scrolling through instagram in between classes. i unfollowed whatever made me feel gross and found things that made me want to grow.  and it changed everything. ps. brief side note: if seeing others’ success and happiness always makes you really upset, take some time to self-reflect because the problem is probably much larger than social media. 

use tools such as social media to supplement your spirit. take breaks. keep your cool. know when to step away and when to take a hard look at yourself, rather than pixels on a screen. we give power to the things that have power over us. take your power back. 

i believe social media is an incredible opportunity to connect, learn, create, teach, share. let it serve you. and let go of anything and everything that is not serving you.

I do not believe technology owns us, we own technology. remind it of that. 

if your instagram feed feels draining, get rid of the bad stuff. here are just a few of my favorite accounts that encourage, uplift, inform, inspire or make me laugh:

@bymariandrew

@cleowade

@mindbodygreen

@elsielarson

@evachen212

@beyonce

@girlpowersupply

@iconaccidental 

@awardsforgoodboys

@ocasio2018

@realgirlsfart

@nadinejane_astrology

@thethiccgram

@everyoutfitonsatc

@the.wing

@betches

@betchessup

@manrepeller

@recipesforselflove

@reductress

@hallithbates

@harnessmagazine

@thelilynews

@binchcity

@bulletin.co

@selfcareisforeveryone

@drawnbymary

@theblurtfoundation

this is a brief list. because there is no limit to good in the universe and that doesn’t stop just because something is made of pixels flying through the air and back onto our phone screens. I find joy here. bccause I look for it. I hope you do too. 

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