Wednesday 4 September 2019

Using Social Media as a Student

Alyssa writes about using social media as a student, and making the right digital choices for your mental health.
-Alyssa Abel 

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Almost everyone uses social media to some extent, but it might not be having a healthy effect on your mental health. From FOMO to admissions anxiety, social media can be a source of stress for university students but it doesn't have to be. Here's how students can develop positive, healthy social media habits:

1. Be Positive 

Negative comments, online bullying and unkind posts only lead to pain both for you and for others on your feed.

Take a hard pass on social media negativity. If someone in your feed insists on posting inflammatory comments, add them to your restricted list so they can't interact with your posts. Use the "unfollow" button to keep Negative Nancy content from showing in your feed. This way, you can keep drama from weighing down your mind. Try to keep your own posts positive, as well.

2. Be True to Yourself 

Let's face it, people put on all sorts of airs on social media. Scrolling through your feed and comparing yourself to the successes and smiles you see, you might feel isolated or unworthy  but the people you follow are only posting their best moments.

To keep your sanity, keep yourself real. Showcase your accomplishments, but be honest  don't compete, compare or try to be someone else. There's enough competition in the world already use your feed for sharing items that uplift others, not bring them down.

3. Connect With the Right People 

The cliché holds true you become like the company you keep. Choose to friend individuals who post uplifting content to elevate your vibe.

Clean up your feed and focus on following friends, family and people who make you feel positive. If you need to, unfollow your exes, past classmates, people you don't know or people with whom you've lost touch.

4. Engage in Healthy Interactions 

Every time you interact on social media, you face a choice  will your commentary lift others up or bring them down? Choose the side of positivity  yes, always!

And spread the likes and love around  think about how you feel when people react to your content. Making other people feel good creates a ripple effect. You can't help but feel better about yourself afterward.

5. Limit Use 

How many times per day do you check your phone? If you're like many university students, you peek at the screen between every class and sometimes even while school is in session.

Turn your phone off. Even a momentary distraction to check an alert interrupts your mental flow and negatively impacts productivity. Set specific hours for checking texts, social media alerts and email and stick to them.

6. See Your Friends for Real 

Excess social media use isolates you from others. Text a friend and ask them to meet you at the library for a study session. Go to that party on Saturday night. Hanging out with people in real life boosts moods more effectively than socializing online.

7. Understand Everyone is Human 

Have you ever posted something you later regretted while in a snit? Guess what? Your friends do, too.

When cleaning your feed, take isolated negative posts with a grain of salt. Instead of immediately blocking, reach out and ask what's wrong. This shows you care.

And remember, no one is perfect even when they're posting the perfect selfie. By using social media positively and connecting with the right people, you'll improve your student experience and your happiness.

Hi, I'm Alyssa, an education and student life blogger with a passion for connecting with students of all kinds. Making positive self-care choices like these has kept me grounded through school and life and I hope to help other students succeed, stay healthy and make the most of their university experience. Follow along on my blog, Syllabusy.


  1. Great article. Couldn't agree more when it come to healthy use. Social media could be poisonous to many young people. Sometimes I try to switch off. For example go for a two hours walk and leave your phone at home. Let's see how life looked like just 25 years ago.

    1. I absolutely agree! It's important to switch off and reconnect with real life