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Social Media, is it all that it seems?

YourAurora member, Diya Tanushree, talks about the negative side of social media on mental health, and how to make sure we don't get pulled into the algorithm.

Social Media. We all use it. Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, even WhatsApp! It's all around us. What do we use it for? To text our friends, get a little closer to our favourite celebrities, or just posting your life out into the world. This is the fun, happy side of social media where everyone is posting, getting likes, funny and complimenting comments and everybody stays connected. Social media helps us all have a platform and today, we're more connected than ever before. We know what's happening on the other side of the world! The sad truth is, this isn't what social media is. The negative side of social media is something we should all stay away from. Multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, self-harm, and even suicidal thoughts. Social media may promote bad thoughts about your life or appearance. Here are some tips to have a balanced social media experience at all times:

  1. Manage your usage: Try taking a break once a while. You can set a time every day- many people have a problem with this. It's an automatic reflex to open Instagram or any other app immediately after you open your phone. You need to dig deeper within yourself and ask yourself, 'Is this helping me? Am I benefitting from this?' This might seem hard but try and limit yourself to 10 minutes a day. You'll get there if you start by reducing 1 hour to 45 minutes, 45 to 30, 30 to 20 and before you know it, you'll be using only 10 minutes of social media a day! You can also check it at the end of the day so that you have other things, more productive things, to do during the entire day.

  2. Be kind: We've all seen celebrities 'beefing'. There might be situations where you are in a similar situation too! Something you might want to keep in mind before saying anything is that everyone you say things to online is human. They're a person, just like you.They're a person, just like you. We never know what someone else is going through so it's best to always be kind online. "Kindness is spreading sunshine into others lives no matter the weather."

  3. Real Life: People often confuse the fine line between interactions online and in-person. We're all social beings and we must know how to make a conversation face-to-face, not just online. Texting might be a lot easier for a lot of people but we encourage you to face your fears! Remember, social media isn't a replacement for real interactions. Invite people over! Go see a movie! When it comes to relationships of all kinds, it's the talk that matters - the talk out of your mouth.

So, what are you waiting for? Get up and go hug a family member! Paint a picture! Write a story, on paper! Sing a song! Take a break and have fun.

Please not, we are not anti-social media, simply anti-overuse/abuse of social media privileges

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