How to Escape the Toxic Side of Social Media

How to Escape the Toxic Side of Social Media

Social media can be a positive, uplifting place at times, and then it can be a dark hole at other times. When it comes to body positivity and mental health, social media is often detrimental. 

Social media wants us to believe that there is something wrong with how we're shaped and alters how we see ourselves in the mirror. It seems like social media, and the general public, idolizes fit men and trim women all the time. 

It's rare to see a thick or heavy set person on the front of a magazine cover. While thin people deserve love and representation, it would be nice for people on the heavier side to be recognized as well. We weren't all created the same in this world, but social media wants you to think that there is something wrong with you if you aren't skinny.

Tik Tok consistently highlights platforms of men and women who fit a certain bodily physique, and this pattern is replicated on Instagram. I am a victim of believing in this specific ideal throughout my teenage years, and into my adulthood. Only now, after a process of healing and self-acceptance, am I now trying to get comfortable with my belly rolls and stretch marks on my thighs. 

We fool ourselves into thinking we're not made right if we aren't thin.  The journey to loving yourself can be complex and challenging, but that doesn't mean you should give up because of what social media wants you to think. Your mental and physical health matters, and will play a critical role at every stage of your life . At the end of the day, you will always have to have a relationship with yourself.  What social media or other people think about you should never influence who you are or how you live your life. 

Social media has always been a dark place on the web to me. I say that because the internet is notorious for breaking up friendships and relationships because of the content that is posted on it. For instance, if your boyfriend or girlfriend likes a  picture of someone else, this can cause tension. Your friend could be posting bad pictures about you or spread rumours online. You have to learn how to properly navigate social media. Fortunately, there are plenty of tricks to help you maintain a positive relationship with the internet.

Here are a few tips that I recommend if you’re struggling with this issue: 

1. Sign out and delete your apps for a while

Staying off social media for a couple of days allows you to clear your mind and relax. Give yourself a day, or even a few hours, to reconnect with your surroundings. You can read, write, chill in bed, or even go for a peaceful walk outside.

 2. Follow positive social media accounts

Who you follow is how you feel.  There are accounts out there that post positive, motivating content that will change your perspective on life, and uplift your spirits throughout the day. You won’t be so annoyed or depressed while scrolling through social media when you see positivity on your feed. 

3. Deactivate for thirty days 

Guess what: you can deactivate your social media for thirty days, and your account won’t be deleted! I have done this before. It keeps you from being tempted to go check someone’s latest tweet, Instagram post, or Snapchat story, while promoting engagement with the outside world.  

4. Turn your phone off 

This one is easier said than done. You can turn your phone off for a few hours and find new hobbies to occupy your time. Spend time with family. Hang out with a friend. Go for a ride alone. 

Don’t let social media consume your life! You can control your relationship with social media, and avoid these harmful patterns. Follow these steps to rebuild your body positivity! You matter more than what someone says or posts on the internet. 


Written by: Audre Arnett


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