Think Before You Scroll

Social media can be a very scary place for some of us. It can sometimes feel as though everyone is having the time of their lives as you spend yet another night scrolling through your phone, battling today’s mental health challenge and wondering what to rinse next on Netflix.

Being the Marketing Manager for First Steps ED you’d think I’d have a better grasp on the realities of the online world – but alas, I still find myself scrolling between calls and copy-writing, wondering what that old friend I haven’t seen in 11 years is up to these days. And that’s okay, we need to feed our curiosity sometimes, we are all human after all. It’s when the scrolling turns to sadness and all those smiling faces and holiday snaps make it feels as though the world is turning without us… 

Time for a detox and digital reboot. So, when you’re feeling a little down on digital, here is a few things to consider…

Follow the right people and mute what you’d rather not see

Social media isn’t for everyone, so if is making you feel bad then it is time to get rid. If you’re not ready to delete your profile all together, try to remove those people or pages that make your feel sad or down about yourself. It might be an influencer who idealises weight-loss or ‘thin’ bodies, or even an old acquaintance that reminds you of a bad time in your life. Think of it is a spring clean, and fresh start for your feed.

If you don’t want to unfollow friends and family, even if they share content that could trigger you or knock your confidence in some way. Instead, you can choose to ‘mute’ their posts. This is a great way to take a break from someones posts without risking a potential conflict.

Once you’ve had a clean out, have a look for those great motivational channels, the ones that are designed to spread positive messages to their followers. The First Steps ED page follows a few inspirational pages, so why not start there!

Think about when you go online (and how long for!)

My boyfriend often jokes about the “6 O’clock lull” in our house, a time when my mood starts to deteriorate, probably because we are heading towards dinner time and I haven’t shifted from my desk for a while. It is great to have a distraction at this time, but maybe not a scroll on social media. Grumpy Lucy certainly doesn’t need to be surrounded by the seemingly perfect lives of my peers. Instead we go for a walk, make a bit of food and maybe pick up my diary for a bit of journaling.

For me, the best time to scroll tends to be in the morning. I follow pages that feed my curiosity, keep me in the know and inspire me to create the motivational posts you see over on the First Steps ED instagram pages. Find a time that works for you and try to limit your screen time.

Everyone’s lives look better online

It’s true. What we see and share on social media is often our ‘greatest hits’, you know, the good stuff. It is important to remember that there is a lot more going on beneath the surface and whilst someone appears to have the perfect life, they still might be struggling at the moment.

I suppose the key take away is that we are all human and it isn’t realistic to be happy all of the time, no matter how many smiling faces you scroll through.

Contributed by Lucy Robinson

Fundraising, Marketing and Communications Lead