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Top Tips For Staying Happy And Healthy On Social Media

This March saw the UN’s tenth annual International Day of Happiness.

Happiness is “a fundamental human goal” recognized by The United Nations General Assembly, and with our world currently facing unprecedented challenges, our collective and individual wellbeing matters more than ever. 

Celebrated around the world since 2013, the goal of the International Day of Happiness is to spread awareness that progress is not only about increasing bottom lines and encouraging economic growth, but about human happiness as well. 

Happiness is a profoundly human and subjective experience; and yet in recent years the scientific study of happiness has exploded. One thing that scientific studies have highlighted is the importance of social networks. We are a highly social species.

Research shows that “people with strong social relationships are happier, healthier and may even live longer”, and “having a network of social connections can increase our immunity to infection, lower our risk of heart disease and reduce mental decline as we get older”. The COVID-19 policies of lockdowns and physical distancing have posed a significant challenge for people’s social connections in recent years, leading to massive growth in social media adoption and usage.  

With social connectedness at the core of the human experience, scientists agree that both online and offline social networks are important for raising happiness levels. Social media is increasingly ubiquitous, constantly evolving, and now undeniably merged with our everyday existence, so it’s crucial we understand how to consume it in ways that positively impact our wellbeing. Recognizing and adopting healthy habits will ensure we navigate social with safe intentions and outcomes.

So, for this UN International Day of Happiness, we asked some of the 1000heads social media experts around the globe for their tips on staying happy and healthy online.

1. Use Expert Tools

“Traditional advice is that when you’re overwhelmed, a social media ‘detox’ can be the only route. However, social media is also a fantastic resource for wellbeing and mindfulness advice. Many mindfulness and meditation services offer free resources through social media (I love this 10 minute video from Mindfulness app, Headspace). 

Platforms are also stepping up to the plate, with Snapchat releasing a bunch of ‘wellbeing’ resources, including breathing exercises and a crisis helpline for those truly struggling. As with all things, social media is best consumed in moderation, but it can also be enriching and nourishing, if you know where to look.” 

Leah Kendall, Group Community Director, 1000heads London

2. Use and follow credible sources of information

“We currently see world events covered to a new extent through the many and varied social platforms and the 24 hour news cycle. In the midst of a flood of information it is important to ensure you are following trusted sources. These don’t necessarily have to be old-fashioned or offline media sources, but they should cover all sides of a story in an accurate and truthful manner.” 

Marcus Lenk, Content Creative, 1000heads Berlin

3. Stay secure. Always have appropriate security settings

“Give yourself peace of mind by taking a few simple steps to fortify your personal security. Take an afternoon and sit down with a hot beverage (or boozy one) while you update your browser, apps and software to the latest version, refresh your passwords, and set up two-factor authentication across your apps.” 

Savannah Hobbs, Communications Director North America, 1000heads New York

4. Use social to reach out and reconnect with someone you miss in real life

“Our online connections can sometimes lead us to neglect our offline, real-life connections. As many parts of the world emerge back into ‘real life’ after extended lockdowns, using your favourite platform to message or arrange a meet up with family or friends can help keep spirits high and counteract any feelings of isolation. Social media is perfect for finding people you’d like to reconnect with.”

Liz Burke, Communications Director APAC, 1000heads Melbourne

5. Unfollow or hide any accounts that bring you unpleasant feelings

“Certain people or profiles can bring feelings of anxiety, FOMO and insecurity. It’s important to remember that social is a curated space, full of highlight reels, and you’re not alone in this experience. It can do a world of good to remove that which is giving you unpleasant feelings — it is totally fine to hit that unfollow button, or hide their content by muting their stories or clicking ‘not interested’ via the ‘Explore’ or ‘For You’ page.”

Jana Dermelkonian, Relationships Manager, 1000heads Sydney

6. Find safe spaces and niche communities that relate to you

“Social media culture is changing and people are making an attempt to put real authentic content into the world. Whatever your passion is, I promise there’s an online group for that. Get out of your comfort zone and explore new community forward social platforms and connect with people safely on what matters to you most.”   

Joeanna Valadez, Community Manager, 1000heads New York

7. Save your energy for the things that matter most to you

“At any given point in time, there is a lot of bad stuff happening. That always has been the case, though social media can make us more aware of this than ever. But opening a million tabs and putting your energy into every problem may not achieve anything, and it probably won’t help your mental health. So to quote Hasan Minhaj: “You have every right to close a tab in your brain, especially if it helps you double down on the issues that really matter to you.”

Vincent Varney, Community Director, 1000heads Sydney

8. Stop doom scrolling

“Scanning social media obsessively for bad news can quickly lead to anxiety, sleepless nights or even worse: depression. Doom scrolling is a new addiction and can be prevented by taking a break from social media to experience the world through our own eyes again, with all of our senses.”

Natalie MacMahon, Senior Social Media Manager, 1000heads Berlin

9. Find accounts to follow that bring you joy 

“With parts of the world currently in turmoil, it’s easy to feel down. But it’s also important we take time to focus on the positive. The mission of Upworthy is to deliver the best of humanity every day. The Good News Movement makes a point of featuring only good news stories. Good Good Good aims to help people feel more hopeful. With a combined 7.9 million followers, these are just a few social accounts we love that are bringing a bit of joy to people every day.”

Chloe Fakhri, Social Media Manager, 1000heads Melbourne

10. Use social media to help a cause you’re passionate about

“There’s no shortage of worthwhile causes that need our attention and funds right now. Social media is a great place to seek out trusted organizations and individuals working on the frontline of a cause you are passionate about, and if you can, make a donation or volunteer your time. Not only is it important to give to those in need, but helping others is also known to release endorphins, which produce positive feelings.” 

Lena Habkouk, Relationships Director, 1000heads Sydney

We live and breathe social media. If you want to have a chat about communication strategies for the social age just shoot us an email.