Social media platforms are incredibly helpful when it comes to engaging with friends and family or for networking with professional peers. Many of these same platforms can become overwhelmingly negative, resulting in a depressing and unfulfilling experience.
There are a few things you can do to control your social media experiences – at least to an extent.
Don’t Engage in Negativity
A general rule of thumb is to avoid politics and religion on social media platforms. Save those conversations for your close family members and peers. Avoiding these conversations will make it easier to avoid the arguments that usually escalate online. Stay away from people who constantly post sad and depressing items. Yes, we want to be educated about animal abuse from time to time; but no, we don’t need to see pictures of abused or neglected animals several times per day. Avoid people who constantly harp on their family members, call other people or social groups names, or simply never have anything nice to share. Unfriend, completely block, or at least unfollow the people who aren’t adding anything positive to your experience.
Use Your Privacy Settings
Be selective when it comes to who you friend on different platforms. All social sites, including Twitter and Instagram, allow you to create private profiles. Those who are networking for business should learn to create lists so that certain posts can be hidden or shown to the right audiences. On Facebook, you can allow people to follow your “public” posts without friending them so they can see your “friend only” posts. Understand the options available to you on each site and make use of them.
Social Media as a Launching Pad
Don’t limit your interactions to social media. Use these networking sites as a tool to stay in touch and stay engaged, but don’t let them replace face-to-face conversations, phone calls, coffee breaks, or outings with your friends. Use social platforms so strengthen your relationships while allowing them to grow naturally – offline.