Many people have become addicted to social media applications which have many negative effects. One such problem with social media is emotional manipulation which is causing us different kinds of psychological and social issues. So, here we have gathered ten tips to help you to stop being manipulated by social media.
Spoiler Alert: If you are not a fan of reading then there is a video at the end of this article that covers this topic.
How to Stop Being Manipulated by Social Media:
1. Interact with people face-to-face
The first tip for stop being manipulated by social media is that meeting people face to face more often. Try to meet up with your friends more often instead of just chatting with them online on social media. Go out for lunch or maybe plan a picnic.
Moreover, moving up and going out is more physically and mentally healthy than simply sitting on your couch and browsing social media. Plus, your conversations will be more fun and meaningful when they’re done face-to-face.
2. Find better ways to pass your time
Many times, we end up using and being manipulated by social media when we have nothing else to do. Try to find better and more productive ways to pass your time. Clean up your messy desk, go for a walk, join a gym or maybe even watch a TED talk on YouTube.
3. Remove people or things that make you feel inferior
Many of us get inferior by seeing other people’s activity on social media. This is one of the side effects of social media. It is common for people to feel envious when they see their friends’ posts on social media. This is one way in which social media manipulate us.
You may feel jealous of a friend constantly posting pictures of parties and vacations and may develop an inferiority complex. But be smart and realize that people post the highlights or best moments of their daily lives on social media. Despite knowing this, some people might still react badly.
In such cases, it is best to remove the cause of your distress. We are not saying that you remove people from your contact list, but you could choose to limit the posts you see from them.
4. Do not believe the ‘perfect’ lives
Many people religiously follow celebrity accounts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It is okay to be inspired by their look or style, but it is not ok to get manipulated by it. It is important to realize that the ‘real’ image is very different from the ‘reel’ image on social media.
Many pictures of celebrities online have been edited. Hence do not look up to unrealistic beauty and fitness standards. Also, do not feel mesmerized by their ‘perfect’ lives. Celebrities also use social media like us and choose to post their best moments online.
5. Follow the pages you like
It is important that you follow pages on social media because their content interests you rather than just because of their popularity. There are millions of pages online, including those of celebrities, TV shows, and entertainment magazines.
You may find yourself following such pages one after the other, only to realize that your newsfeed is primarily filled with gossip. Do not let social media manipulate you into deviating from your interests.
Follow news channels if you like to stay updated with the social, economic, and political happenings from across the globe. If you want to know more about animal life, you may follow the pages of channels like National Geographic.
So basically, there is a very high probability that interesting content is available for everyone online. You just need to follow the right accounts and not just the popular ones!
Related: 10 Most Common Bad Habits and How to Break them
6. Do not fall easily for online ads
If you are wondering about how corporations manipulate consumers? Well, companies spend huge amounts of money on advertising to attract customers and increase sales, including online advertising. You will mostly see an ad when you visit a website or open a social media app.
Moreover, these companies also place target ads, that is, they place ads according to your likes and shares on social media. It is common to feel a strong desire to purchase that product after continuously viewing it online. But do not be manipulated into buying unnecessary products.
It is important for parents to protect their children from these online ads as their minds are very vulnerable. Many companies aim to get into the heads of children as they are easy targets. Parents should keep an eye out when their children are surfing the internet.
7. Take breaks from your virtual world
The advent of technology has made communication with people all across the globe very easy. But it is essential to know when to unplug and take a break from social media.
Focus on your real-life and the real people around you. Pursue your hobbies and passions instead of meaninglessly wasting time online.
8. Do not turn on all notifications
Mostly all social media applications give you the option of being notified when something new happens online. So, you may be working on an important assignment, or maybe you are performing household chores when you see your mobile phone screen light up.
You have got a notification! What’s next, you leave your current work to check out the notification and end spending an hour browsing through various posts on social media.
It is very helpful to only turn on the important notifications like those of your email accounts. It is a waste of time to be notified when someone posts a new photo online or starts a live video. In this way, you will be able to be better interrupted by various notifications.
9. Find a balance
According to experts, many people have become addicted to social media for fear of losing out on life. FOMO or the fear of missing out can lead to depression and anxiety, especially in teenagers. They feel that their friends will forget them if they don’t appear online often enough.
It’s important to find a balance and not to reach for your phone to share your moments online immediately. Realize that these moments are precious and capture them in your minds.
10. Make sure to use social platforms safely
Our posts online can very easily be used against us for manipulation and bullying. Hence, it’s important to make sure that your private information and photos are safe online. Parents should take extra measures to ensure that their children do not become targets of cyberbullying.
So, the next time you find yourself meaninglessly scrolling down your newsfeed, make sure to remind yourself that you have many more productive activities to engage in. Also, work on our ten tips to help you to stop being manipulated by social media. Click here to watch the video on YouTube.