Self-Esteem and Social Media: How to Keep Both

social media and self esteem

We have all heard it before: social media is bad for your self-esteem. It triggers plenty of comparison cycles and negative thinking. It shows you snapshots of others’ lives – typically the happy and filtered moments – that blur our relationship with reality. But what about if you want to keep your handles? How can you hold on to both your self-esteem and social media?

I hear you! I have to keep most of my social media channels because of Blush – and even if I wasn’t forced to keep my personal ones – I’ve found that social media can actually be a self-esteem BUILDER as opposed to a weapon of self-esteem destruction.

So I’m going to walk you through some ways you can keep your self-esteem and social media intact, without compromising one or the other!

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Clear Out Any Negative Accounts

Okay yeah, this sounds obvious. But I’m going to spell it out anyway.

Go ahead and unfollow any obvious accounts that don’t make you feel anything less than AWESOME. I personally started with influencer accounts that wanted me to drink tea in order to make me poop around the clock.

Low hanging fruit.

But what about accounts that cause you to feel unsettled, even though you know the account holder personally?

Yeah…they have to go, too.

Here’s the good news though: you can “mute” people!

That’s right, the unfollow is so last year! Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allow you to “mute” accounts, so you don’t have to see their stories, content, or posts whenever you’re scrolling.

The best part? They aren’t even alerted.

Which means you can secretly mute every single account that brings up any negative feelings whatsoever, without explaining why you unfollowed a co-worker who gives you the heebie jeebies.

I personally believe you don’t need a reason to “unfollow” anyone – but if you’re concerned about causing any sort of tension for the unfriend/unfollow, the mute button is now your friend. You don’t even have to pinpoint exactly WHY you don’t like seeing a person’s content – just “mute” the second you feel sideways about it.

Trust me, it works wonders. No more secret pangs anytime I see a friend of a friend who asked me to follow them on Instagram in person (Awkward!!!! Don’t do that to people!!!!) on my timeline. She’s muted forever so I don’t have to pretend that it makes me happy to see political posts! YAY.

Mute ANYONE who doesn’t make you excited to be on social media. Anyone who triggers you. Anyone who makes you think critically about your appearance or personality. Anyone who doesn’t bring positivity.

Goodbye, ya muted.

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Use Social Media For Educational Purposes

Now that we’ve cleared out all of the bullshit on your feed, it’s time to fill it up with accounts to enhance your self-esteem.

I love to use social media as a platform for education. Simply put, I like to follow smart people. Thought leaders. People who use the platform to teach me something I didn’t know beforehand.

I don’t need to constantly be in the loop with friend’s vacations. In fact, knowing too much about my friends’ lives weirds me out anyway. What are we going to discuss on the phone if I already know all about the latest trip to the lake with their psycho father-in-law?! THE WEATHER? Spare me.

My average sized brain doesn’t have enough room for all of that personal information anyway.

So instead, I like to fill my feed with things that stimulate me. Seriously – pick a topic, any topic – and you will find some of the most brilliant minds sharing content FOR FREE on any of these social media platforms.

For example, my husband single handedly learned how to become a carpenter thanks to TikTok.

I am not joking. Frills and Drills is his favorite account. He also says the women DIYers are nicer than the men DIYers too which absolutely cracks me up because OF COURSE THEY ARE 😁

Anyway.

Learning helps improve our self-esteem. It makes us feel more confident and self-assured. It gives us new opportunities to have meaningful conversations or try new things. So use social media to benefit your self-esteem by giving this a try.

There’s simply sooooo much to learn and sooooo many people willing to teach, again, FOR FREE, on these sites to have any real excuse not to try it. So instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, try to find these niches online and see if you could turn your aimless scrolling into a stimulating educational experience.

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Follow Accounts to Enhance Your Worldview

Another thing I love about social media? It allows me to create a world in which I’d like to live in, which is arguably the best thing I could imagine for my self-esteem.

While Hollywood might not yet be showing me stunning plus-sized actresses as the lead roles in a romantic comedy, I see this on my newsfeed all dang day.

You can create the diversity and inclusion you wish to see in the world on your social media timeline – and hopefully – your brain will begin to rewire itself the more and more you expose yourself to a world that looks different than the one you’re living in today.

If your social media is simply an algorithm that looks shockingly a lot like YOU – or at least, what society expects you to look like – maybe it’s time to tweak it so you can see more of what’s out there. I have found that my internal monologue has become less judgmental, more open, and – most excitingly – more curious.

All because of social media.

That’s right, because of the inclusive, diverse, interesting, unique, and creative people I follow online – I’ve found that social media has actually enhanced my self-esteem, especially when it comes to body positivity.

Social media and self-esteem going hand in hand ❤️

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Make Your Content Positive and Helpful

Another good way to increase your self-esteem on social media is to make sure you’re posting positive content.

Social media is a hotbed for values-based arguments, and there’s no need to add to the noise if you can avoid it. Instead, think about how you can make your community lighter and brighter by creating a positive environment.

While I definitely identify as more of a “lurker” than a “poster” – any time I post something online, the goal is to help others feel good. Maybe they will get a laugh out of it, or smile, or even just not be offended (low bar, yes I know). But I think it’s important not to contribute to the vitriol – and instead add happiness and joy to your online space. Drop hearts in the comments on other’s accounts. Ignore or block any trolls you happen to come across – even if they aren’t commenting on your posts. Keep it happy.

 

Be sure to follow us, @joinblush, as well!

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