A password will be e-mailed to you.

Over the past few years, social media has become a focal point in society, and has impacted the way we live our day to day lives in more ways than one. As is the case with anything, there are positive and negative takeaways when it comes to social media, and most of it comes down to how you use it.

Some unfortunately stress over things like the number of followers they have, their physical appearance, and how much money they have because of the things they see on social media platforms on a daily basis. Coupled with real life issues and insecurities, social media can be detrimental to some, which is why it’s important to use social media properly, or walk away from it completely if needed.

Use Social Media to Connect with Others and Build Your Network

One of the most beneficial and sensible ways to use social media, especially if youʼre an entrepreneur or creative, is to connect with others who have similar interests and those who work in your desired industry. Gone are the days of having to physically go out and ask around to find individuals who could potentially help you develop your skill sets, or vice versa. Communication with others is now easier and more immediate than ever and while a lot of people may think that itʼs a lost cause to reach out to someone that they think they could learn something from, it never hurts to try.

I can say from experience that taking the leap by reaching out to someone that you respect and feel can be a positive influence in your business and even personal endeavors, can yield unexpected positive results.

Donʼt Use Social Media to Attack or Belittle Others for Attention and Likes

With the continuous increase in popularity of gossip blogs and tabloid sites, many are looking to try to expose, bash, or ridicule others, just so they may get a little attention and have a few dozen people like their slanderous comments. While it may be tempting for some to join in on the negativity that is so prevalent on social media platforms, it isnʼt worth the energy and no true good comes from it. Being as though we live in a society where people are overly concerned with being entertained by and voicing negativity, it’d important to go against that energy and instead either spread positivity, or keep negative comments to yourself. If for some reason you do consider posting anything negative, ask yourself: What do I get if I take part in this aspect of internet culture? What kind of change am I making? Is this helping me in any capacity? If there’s no positive answer to these questions, which I don’t really feel there is, then keep your negative thoughts to yourself and continue on with your day.

Photo: Benjamin Sow

Donʼt Obsess Over the Amount of Likes or Shares Your Posts Get

This one may be way easier said than done, but it’s crucial in order to keep yourself level headed. We all post things to social media that we really like, especially photos of ourselves, hoping that others will find it just as great. What many people have to come to terms with is that not everyone will like everything that you like, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you post a photo of yourself and only get 10 likes, that shouldn’t ruin your day – it’s only social media. The likes or shares that you receive from others on social media shouldn’t validate you as a person because Instagram and other platforms could disappear tomorrow, and you still have to live your life.

Author and Georgetown University Professor Cal Newport discusses the negative effects that social media has already had on society.

Take Breaks from Social Media if Needed, Regardless of How You Think Others May React

Detoxing from social media is always necessary in my opinion as being bombarded with certain imagery and commentary can be draining, whether you realize it or not. It’s not only important to take a break because the of unrealistic imagery that’s promoted daily, but it’s also always a good idea to just go about living your live and fully experiencing everything. Going to a restaurant or meeting with friends shouldn’t just be seen as an opportunity to take photos and be on your phone the entire time, but should instead be a chance to truly indulge in positivity and good vibes.

Donʼt Negatively Critique Yourself Based on Photos that Influencers and Celebrities Post

All too often, there are people who feel like they “wish” they had the life of many celebrities and famous people in the industry have simply because of what they see people post online. What they may not realize is that as with everything in the entertainment industry, you’re shown only what people in the spotlight want you to see. Whether it’s physical or material, there are plenty of public figures who have things that others so desperately want, and this causes many to begin having negative thoughts about themselves. One major thing to remember is that you don’t know what they had to do to get those things, and you don’t know if they even go to bed happy every night. The things that you have and are working towards in your life should be infinitely more important than the superficial “goals” that you see many post or reference online.

All in all, we’re in control of our own lives, and living a more fulfilling happy life is more possible with proper, or even no, social media usage. Enjoying our day to day activities and genuinely creating memories with those that we care about is infinitely more satisfying than stressing over attention through social media from people that we don’t even know.