Navigating Threads – safeguarding mental health on social media
Nikki Schuster, CEO
In today’s digitally connected world, social media has become an integral part of our lives. It allows us to connect, share, and express ourselves. However, with the launch of ‘Threads’, yet another social media platform, it is crucial to understand how we can protect our mental health and that of our children and young people in this ever-evolving online landscape.
At Renew, we are deeply committed to promoting wellbeing – both in the physical and digital world. In this week’s Renew blog, I’m sharing our practical tips for adults, young people, and parents of younger children, looking at how we can navigate social media while safeguarding our mental health.
Threads, a new social media platform from the creators of Instagram, went live last week, offering unique features and connecting people in new ways. While this can be exciting, it’s essential to approach it mindfully. Remember, it’s important to look at the potential impact on our mental wellbeing before diving in.
Tips for adults using social media:
There’s no denying that social media has become a prominent part of all our lives. As adults, it’s crucial to be mindful of how social media affects our mental health. Here are some practical tips to help protect and prioritise your wellbeing while navigating the social media landscape.
- Set boundaries: Establish limits on your social media usage and allocate specific times for engagement. This will help prevent the feeling of being constantly “plugged in” and reduce the risk of addictive behaviours.
- Curate your feed: Be selective about the content you consume. Follow accounts that inspire and uplift you and unfollow or mute accounts that trigger negative emotions or comparisons.
- Take breaks: Regularly step away from social media to give yourself time to recharge, reflect, and focus on other aspects of your life.
Social media tips for young people:
Growing up in the era of social media can be both exciting and challenging. It’s important for young people to understand the impact that social media can have on their mental health. Here are some valuable tips to help young individuals maintain a healthy relationship with social media while prioritising their wellbeing.
- Understand your worth: Remember that social media doesn’t define your value. Likes, comments, and followers are not measures of your self-worth. Develop healthy self-esteem by focusing on your unique qualities and achievements offline.
- Be mindful of comparison: It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing your life to the carefully curated highlight reels of others. Remember that people often only share their best moments. Celebrate your own journey and embrace authenticity.
- Balance online and offline activities: Engage in a wide range of activities, both on and off social media. Pursue hobbies, spend time with loved ones, and engage in physical activities that promote overall wellbeing.
Tips for parents of younger children:
Parenting in the digital age comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to managing children’s social media usage. As parents, it’s crucial to foster a safe and supportive environment for your children online. Here are some helpful tips to guide you in safeguarding your children’s mental health while they engage with social media.
- Open communication: Maintain an open and non-judgemental dialogue with your children about their social media use. Encourage them to share their experiences, concerns, and interactions.
- Educate about privacy and safety: Teach your children about online privacy, the importance of strong passwords, and the potential risks of sharing personal information. Encourage them to be cautious about accepting friend requests and explain the dangers of engaging with strangers online.
- Set guidelines: Establish clear rules and boundaries around social media usage, such as limiting screen time, age-appropriate platforms, and parental supervision. Regularly monitor their online activities without invading their privacy.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve with the emergence of new social media platforms like Threads, it is essential to prioritise our mental health and wellbeing. By implementing the tips mentioned above, we can hopefully navigate social media in a more mindful and balanced way. It’s important that we embrace the positive aspects of social media while remaining vigilant about our mental health and fostering a safe online environment for everyone. Remember, your wellbeing matters both online and offline.
Our team of counsellors is available to provide support and guidance on issues around mental health and social media. You can reach out to us here to find out more.