I’ve been doing a lot of thinking the past few months about what it means to have a healthy balance with social media. Like many topics I write about regarding mental health, I don’t have a solid answer. Sorry. There probably isn’t one.
Honestly, I struggle with social media and the expectation around it.
It feels like the only way to build a successful business, and I’ve been told several times that I need to “push” my counseling business with posts and blogs. It’s one of the reasons I started this. Of course I want my business to be successful. I’m passionate about mental health and writing, so combining the two along with my counseling business makes sense.
However, I’ve never been good at this stuff. I don’t like posting as much as they say you should to gain a following. I don’t post consistently. I forget. Or, more to the point of this particular post, I don’t feel like it’s good for me.
Here’s a habit I’ve been practicing the last few months: bringing my mental health into whether or not I post.
In fact, how I’m feeling mentally should be criteria #1 for considering a post, especially if it involves me being vulnerable about my own wellness, on social media. Being vulnerable can be powerful and healing, but it’s just as vital to protect yourself and know when it’s not the right moment to let just anyone in on your struggle. I’ve been trying to check in with myself and see if I’m emotionally seeking validation and to feel better from people that I’m not actually close with. If I’m in that mind set, I’m much more prone to make the reaction personal. Suddenly, not enough “likes” demeans what I posted. Suddenly, my post about mental health is hurting my mental health… nope, that’s not going to do.
This habit with social media is worded perfectly by Brené Brown, because who better to speak to being mentally healthy with our vulnerability:
“I only share when I have no unmet needs that I’m trying to fill. I firmly believe that being vulnerable with a larger audience is only a good idea if the healing is tied to the sharing, not to the expectations I might have for the response I get.”
Only if the healing is tied to the sharing, not to the expectations I might have for the response I get. Wow. When I approach social media with this mindset, it feels like putting myself first—before pushing my business, my writing or social media following. It’s not easy to do in this world that screams we should be pushing ourselves out there constantly, not only pushing our businesses, but our personal lives too. I can only speak for myself, but I’ve found at times the harder I feel drawn to push myself on social media, the less I’m actually feeling great about myself.
I’m absolutely still learning and would love to hear what helps others balance social media. Social media is a great tool and can be connecting. Since it’s not going anywhere, I want to continuously work on balance with it and having the mindset that my mental health, relationships, meaning and sense of self is found off the screen.
For more from Molly, check out Woven Blog: https://www.mywovenwellness.com/blog/
Contact Molly: firstname.lastname@example.org
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