Social media got you down? How to cope when social media makes you feel bad

Experiencing social media fatigue? Anxious about what you’re going to see when you look at your phone every morning? You’re not alone. The reality is the news is grim, the weather is terrible, and our anger cycles are faster than ever. Sometimes, social media just doesn’t seem as fun as it used to.

But that doesn’t have to be true. You can still enjoy your time on social media, and find interesting, new and cool things there. So, how can you cope when social media gets you down?

Focus on the fun. What people or accounts do you actually enjoy following? Who’s inspiring you, providing interesting content, or even just making you laugh? Engage with more of their posts, and you’ll likely to start to see even more like it. You could also try creating a Twitter list with just your feel-good follows, and on days when you feel like you can’t take any more bad news, look only at that list.

Prune out the negative. If you’re like most of us, there are probably a few accounts that constantly post things that depress or irritate you. Try muting them or moving them to a list you only check periodically. Following people who challenge you or think differently from you is good, but following people who are actively bringing you down is not.

Share the kinds of things you want to read. If you’re sick of negative content, stop sharing and engaging with it. Post things that make you happy, and your followers will thank you. Social media doesn’t have to only broadcast the bad – it can also highlight the good. Be the change you want to see in the social media world.

Seek out new content. Maybe it’s time to update who you follow. Try friending or following some new people, to inject more novelty into your timelines. Not sure who to follow? Look at who your favorite accounts engage with, ask your followers for recommendations, or search for accounts talking about a particular topic. Sometimes a little fresh content or new idea is all you need to feel reenergized.

Don’t believe everything you read. News travels faster than it ever has before, and we’re often reading things before they’ve been properly vetted. It’s easy to read, react and reply in an instant. Because of this, social media can feel like one long, angry Tweetstorm (Buzzfeed captured this well). You don’t have to buy into this! Take a beat before joining the angry mob, and always take early posts about anything with a giant grain of salt.

Take a break. It’s also okay to step away. You don’t have to look at Facebook every ten minutes or check Twitter first thing every morning. You can even take off a whole day – or longer! – if you want to. Sometimes, even a short break will make you feel better. You control how use you social media, not the other way around.

How do you cope with the stress of today’s social media environment? Share your tips with us at @UnionMetrics on Twitter! (It’s nice there on our Twitter feed, we promise.)