Keeping it Real
The lines between the online and the offline world are becoming more blurred – what happens online is often just an extension of what is happening offline. Social media provides many positive opportunities to share our worlds. It’s a way of connecting with others, to share memories, to be creative and to learn, and gives people a voice to highlight social issues and affect positive change. It may sometimes appear like a highlights reel, but it can be good to have a platform to share the positive things happening in your life! But there are things to watch out for when using social media, often we might feel pressure to look a certain way on social media, project a perfect life or compare ourselves to others.
We can strike the balance, by embracing the positives of social media and the internet, and disregarding the negatives.
Here are some Top Tips
- Keep it real
When bombarded by suggestions of how our lives should be, it can be tempting to create a false persona or sense of yourself online. Choose content that celebrates your true self and be who you want to be. Ask yourself, does this post make me feel good about myself, or does it make me feel self-conscious and uncomfortable?
- Before hitting ‘post’, think about how it will make people feel?
Whether it’s something you are sharing yourself, or if you are commenting on another person’s post – consider how it will make people feel? Respecting the feelings of others will create a positive online presence.
- The Full Picture
It can be very easy to compare ourselves to others online. We all know people who seemingly have the perfect lives. The important thing to remember is that it is not a realistic reflection of life. A small snapshot in time does not give us The Full Picture.
- Stay connected
Social media can make us feel more connected to our friends and help us make connections with communities online. As in real life, it’s important to surround yourself with positive supportive friends – and to be one yourself! While it can be easy to connect with new like-minded people online – remember unless you know them in real life, they may not always be who they seem.
- Take control
If there are people or content that makes you feel negatively about yourself, take the time to clear out your newsfeed. Most social media platforms provide settings that allow you to block or report content, or even mute and hide users and content that you don’t want to see. Consider finding and following positive and healthier content that makes you feel happier. Talk to a trusted adult if you need to, and there are many support organisations who can help if you need information and advice about an issue that you are affected by.
- Be inspired
Social media is great for finding new content, people, and inspiration. Whether it’s for hobbies and interests, education, or for important social movements, social media provides a fantastic platform to engage with new ideas and get involved with issues you care about.