SMS Care - Social Media Self Care

SMS Care

Whether you are tweeting the hilarious joke your prof just made (#StuffMyProfSays), or Instagramming a photo of your misspelled name on your Starbucks latte --- we are always connected to the online world via social media.

It’s no secret that Twitter is my favourite social media platform. When I haven’t scrolled through my Twitter timeline in several hours, I know I’ve missed out on breaking news (like a new medal for Team Canada at the #TO2015 Games!), trending stories and important YorkU updates!

While social media can be a great resource to stay connected, I want to talk to you today about reconnecting. Every month or so, I inform my social networks that I will be logging out of all my social media accounts for a weekend, and I will address all notifications and messages the next Monday morning. This for me, is an act of reconnecting with myself. I also consider it an act of self-care.

Now everyone takes care of their mental, physical and emotional health differently, so I’m here to give you share some tips on how to practice some good SMS Care: social media self care!

1. "Give people your love, don't give them your 'like.’”

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That quote is from a spoken word video that went viral last year, called “Look Up.” If you take anything away from the video, it should be the key message that we need to look up from our phones. Be in the present and reconnect with people around you.

I have a little challenge for all of you! Have you ever heard of Phone Stack? It’s a game designed to unglue you from your smartphone screen. Next time you go out to eat with one or more individuals, stack your phones in the centre of the table. See who can go the longest without touching their device. Whoever caves first, whether to snap a shot of their meal or reply to a text, has to buy dessert or pay the bill (or whatever you choose)!

If that sounds like a huge step to take, also remember that all that hunching over as you text, and staring at your little smartphone screen wreaks damage on your eyes, neck and spine. You owe it yourself, and your present company to be the best you can be.

2. “Don’t Compare Your Chapter 1 To Someone Else’s Chapter 20.”

Accepted to Osgoode Law School. Relationship anniversary. Summer adventures in Germany. Just bought a new car.

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I just scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed and those were some of the life and status updates shared by my friends. Meanwhile, I am lounging on my bed craving a bag of M&Ms...

It’s so easy to get discouraged and feel down after seeing what our friends, family and strangers are doing with their lives while we seem to be at a standstill. I’ve learned to keep in mind several things. Firstly, platforms like Instagram are only a glimpse into the lives of others. We are all twenty-first century photo curators - we decide which of the 18 selfies we just took will make it to our personal gallery. So don’t feel inadequate when you stumble across someone on social media who looks like they have their entire life together. Nobody does. We need to remember not to compare our beginning to someone else’s middle. Be patient and trust your journey.

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3. Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself (Because posting that status might be bad for your health!)

There’s a quote by Ziad K. Abdelnour that says, “Don't promise when you're happy, Don't reply when you're angry, and don't decide when you're sad.” In a way, I think it’s applicable to social media. On social media, we want to join the debate and add our opinion to whatever is trending. Or sometimes we want to rant when we are frustrated and tired. It’s important to know when to have certain conversations in-person and what is considered overposting. You might find that your regret posting something later, especially as the line between personal and professional becomes increasingly blurred on social media. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. If you are on social media and see something that upsets you, step back from your computer and THINK of what is the most appropriate response.

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Now, social media can also be source of self-care as well! My Media & Communications team member Chris, discusses this in his blog post! Do you have any social media self care tips? Let us know!

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