Three young women staying happy on social media by sharing the same phone.
How does social media make you feel?

Social media can be a very happy place. What’s not to love about chatting with friends, sharing and checking out each other’s photos, and playing games. I particularly love it for keeping up to date with family and friends that I hardly ever see, and for the uplifting and funny posts people share on there. Unfortunately it can become a negative space too. I find myself feeling anxious and agitated when I’ve spent too much time scrolling. At best we compare ourselves to others and judge ourselves poorly, or become inundated with negative information, and at worst we can become involved in online bickering or experience cyber bullying. And when it’s on your phone and with you wherever you go, it can be very difficult to escape. So with the aim of focusing on happiness, here are 7 tips for staying happy on social media.

1. Post positively

Create and share posts that are fun, funny, uplifting, happy and light. You will enjoy this, and so will your friends.

Stay happy on social media by posting positively. Close up of a hand giving the thumbs up against a blue sky.
Thumbs up for positive posts.

2. Play Nice

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. Avoid gossip, complaining and criticising and try not to get involved in negative conversations. Put simply… Be kind!

Stay happy on social media by practicing kindness. Close up of someone talking into a tin can and string phone
If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, don’t say it on social media!

3. Careful sharing

These days it’s really easy to share and spread ideas that are negative, hateful or hurtful without even knowing. If you do want to share things about current events, research the source so you know who and what you’re representing.

Stay happy on social media by sharing things that you understand and believe in. A study worn person hides behind a pile of text books.

4. Keep it Real

Have family members and close friends (people that really care for you) as your social media friends. This way if something happens you will have genuine real life people you can turn to. It also means the events and photos you share will be genuinely celebrated and liked… In short, the experience will have more meaning.

Stay happy on social media be being friends with people you know in person. Silhouette of a family watching a sunset near a park bench and tree.
Share your social media life with people who love and care about you.

5. Fight offline

If you are having a disagreement or argument with someone, it’s best to do it in person. I know this one is pretty tricky, but it’s easier to read someone’s tone and meaning when you can see them, or at least hear them over the phone. Likewise they are less likely to misunderstand you.

Stay happy on social media by not fighting in there. Two bears fighting in a stream.
Having your fights and arguments in person reduces the likelihood of misunderstanding.

6. Take a break

Don’t spend all your time online. Put your phone away, leave it at home or disable the social apps so can enjoy the moment you’re in with the people you’re with. Mindful use is key to staying happy on social media.

Stay happy on social media by getting off it regularly. An iPhone sits unused on a table in a stream of sunlight.
Leaving your phone alone at time is ok… It’s actually a really good idea.

7. Don’t take it personally.

Other people’s lives can look amazing on social media. Interesting, adventurous, abundant and fun… because they only post the best bits. Don’t compare your real life to other people’s highlights.

Stay happy on social media by not comparing yourself and your life to others. Beautiful tropical island with clear blue ocean.
Not many people’s lives look like this all the time.

And remember…

The number of likes and followers you have does not determine your worth, only you can do that. You control your social media accounts (not the other way around) so keep an eye on how it makes you feel. If you are feeling in any way sad, anxious or depressed while using it is, it is essential to switch off, to not even log in or if things get really bad, cancel your account.

It is under your control, and totally up to you…

sometimes, if social media is making you feel really unhappy, you can log off, disable the app, or close your account. Blue pause button on a darker blue background.

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This is Emma
Emma O'Connor with a happy smile on her face
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