Can Social Media Help You Feel More Confident?
We know that social media can hurt your self-confidence, but what if it can also help? It’s no secret that following wealthy celebrities, people who humble brag (or straight-up brag), and influencers that are too invested in photoshop can give you a distorted sense of what you or your life “should” appear. If that’s what you feed looks like, it can definitely make you feel bad about yourself, but we know that, and despite it, a lot of us still love social media and use it daily for a variety of reasons. We use it to connect with friends, meet new people, and some platforms are just downright fun to use. With these upsides in mind, there can be some dissonance when it comes to the negative aspects of social media. Still, now that people have become more aware of the adverse effects of social media, there are more and more people who are striving to use it positively. How do you become one of those people? Here’s how social media can aid you in your journey to self-confidence rather than hinder it.
What makes you feel unconfident?
Both on and off the internet, it’s crucial to look at what impacts your self-esteem. Do you look at posts where people are boasting about their fancy new cars or accessories and feel inadequate? Do you look at posts that make you feel like you aren’t “where you should be” as an adult? Let’s say that, like so many others, you struggle with your appearance. Do you follow people that make you feel even worse? Know that when you look at social media, you don’t see a person’s daily life, you don’t know how they’re feeling. Most of all, know that you don’t have to compare yourself to them. That might cause you to feel depressed. Remember, you don’t have to follow anyone that makes you feel bad about yourself or simply posts things that make you feel down. The “mute” button is gold when you know that looking at something isn’t good for you but need to avoid the conflict that could come from unfollowing someone due to things like work or having mutual friends with the person. When you unfollow someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t like them – this is about making your social media a good place for you.
What makes you feel confident?
If you struggle with confidence, it can be challenging to think of what aspects of yourself you are confident in, but you can find them. What are your best traits? Think about them, and when you ask yourself what you like about yourself, don’t take “nothing” for an answer. It can be helpful to look outside of yourself. Imagine that you weren’t you, but that you were a close friend of that person.
Cultivating your feed
Now that we’ve covered why it’s okay to unfollow someone let’s talk about who you should follow. If you struggle with body image, for example, follow people with diverse bodies, people of all different shapes, ages, sizes, and skin tones. Again, unfollow the photoshopped or hyper-conscious accounts if they make you feel less than fantastic, and don’t shame yourself for having to do so. Follow people who post uplifting captions, funny pictures, and content about things that you’re interested in, like travel or your favorite music. There are even therapists on Instagram and Twitter who post messages of self-love, information pieces, ideas, or tutorials for new coping skills, and so on. Follow people that make you feel good, and better yet, who can teach you new things. It is one of the best ways to make social media work for you. If you’re learning and following accounts that boost your mood, social media really can help you feel better rather than worse. You can also find a ton of supportive communities on social media.
Social media breaks
Even if you’ve cultivated your social media feeds to be more beneficial to your mental health, a break is still needed from time to time. If you start to feel down when you are looking at social media posts, it’s worth taking a breather. Like many things in life, social media can become overwhelming, increase feelings of anxiety, and potentially cause depression. That’s why it’s crucial to keep track of your feelings and make sure that you are self-aware. That way, you are in control of your mental health.
If you are struggling with confidence issues, you could benefit from online counseling with a company like BetterHelp. There are so many ways to get support with your mental health and start to feel more confident in yourself. Whether you work with a counselor online or in-person, you can find the clarity you need and empower yourself.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.