Whether you have a soft spot for Snapchat, a fondness for Facebook or you’re infatuated with Instagram, we all know that we can have a love/hate relationship with social media.
One minute we can’t get enough of sending selfies, chatting to our friends and day-dreaming about the holidays our favourite influencers are on right now. The next, social media envy, wasting time scrolling and scrolling, not to mention screen-induced headaches can leave us feeling frustrated, tired and just plain sad.
So what’s the answer? We can’t possibly give up social media or apps, can we? CAN WE? Don’t worry, we’re not saying you should give anything up. But there’s a way to be much smarter about how we act online, which includes muting people who you don’t like seeing lots, limiting your time on apps and reporting any bullying straight away.
Mute or unfollow anything or anyone that really gets on your nerves
If you don’t like what someone’s posting online, you have so so many options as to what to do about it. If it’s something offensive, you can report it. If it’s something that just bugs you, you can unfollow them. It sounds simple, but lots of us forget that we see what we choose to see online – if you keep feeling rubbish about the holidays Instagram influencers are going on, unfollow a few of them!
Sometimes unfollowing can cause people to feel sad, and who knows, maybe you’ll want to follow them again soon and that’ll be awkward. That’s why it’s great that a lot of your favourite apps and social media platforms have options to ‘mute’ or ‘hide’ instead of unfollowing. For example, if you’re sick of seeing someone’s Instagram Stories, just press and hold on their face on your homescreen and then select ‘Mute’.
…Or make it harder for people to see what you’re doing
We’ve all seen that someone we know (but don’t like that much) has followed us or added us as a friend. Maybe it’s someone you don’t get on with or a relative who wants to check up on you. You don’t have to add them back – you can always just ignore the request! But if someone does start following you or adding you as a friend, there are ways to stop them from seeing everything you’re doing. For example, you can limit who sees your Instagram Stories by clicking on someone’s profile, clicking on the three dots in the top right-hand corner and selecting ‘Hide Your Story.’
If you really don’t want some people to see what you’re doing, consider making more of your profiles private, this is really easy on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – just have a look at the settings. That way only the people you agree to will see what you’re posting or saying – this is a really good option for a lot of people.
Report harassment or bullying straight away
People bugging you online is one thing, but if someone is bullying you or being really offensive, then there are tons of tools to help you report their behaviour. And don’t waste any time, flag things as offensive or inappropriate as soon as they come up.
There are lots of ways to do this depending on which app you’re using. For example, the way this works on Facebook is if someone posts a status update you find offensive, just click on the three little dots in the top right-hand corner of their post and scroll to ‘Report Post’. You’ll then be asked a few questions about why you’re reporting and Facebook will figure out what’s going on.
Set an alarm to limit your time online
Maybe you love everyone you follow online and everything you do, but you’ve realised it’s sucking up waaay too much of your spare time. It’s normal. You think you’ll have a quick look at Instagram and next thing you know an hour has passed and you’ve been scrolling until your thumb has gone numb. How did that happen?!
There are lots of apps designed to help you keep tabs on what you’re doing so you can better understand where your time goes. But we like to use our simple timers and alarms already built-in to our phones. Just set an alarm for ten minutes next time you want to look at Instagram or Facebook, when the alarm is up, move on. Simple!
Change your settings to avoid screen headaches
Lots of research has been done into the way the light within our screens could be giving us headaches and disturbing our sleep. Luckily, a lot of phones now have settings built-in, which allow you to change the colour of your screen slightly before bed.
Experts believe these settings, which make your screen look warmer rather than cooler, will lead to a much better night’s sleep for us all. For example, if you have an iPhone go to ‘Settings’, click ‘Display & Brightness’ and then hit ‘Night Shift’ where you can make changes and decide when your screen should start protecting your eyes and how much it should change.
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