According to a recently released Wall Street Journal report, 32 percent of teen girls report that Instagram makes them feel worse when they feel bad about their bodies. Although social media can have detrimental effects on everyone’s self-image, this phenomenon is particularly damaging for young users still establishing their identity. Most of us use social media in some form or another, so what responsibility do we have as content creators, especially those with large followings, to ensure our content is uplifting and empowering? Here are three strategies we can use online to make our content more mindful.
Reflect on this report
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that social media can negatively impact self-image and confidence. Social media is a highlight reel of someone’s life and can trick us into questioning why our life doesn’t look so “picture perfect.” Think about how you would change social media to make it a more positive force and lean into those changes in your own content.
Think before you post
Before you post content, think about how it will impact viewers. What message is it sending? Do you like the message? How could you adjust this content to be more authentic? If there’s someone you follow who you admire, think about what aspects of their posts empower you and channel them into your own content.
Post for your younger self
Imagine how your 13-year-old self would react to your content. Would it make you feel self-conscious? Inspired? Imagine that every post is going out to a younger and impressionable you.
A broader issue
Unfortunately, even if lots of us adjusted our online presence, we still wouldn’t get a handle on the negative aspects of social media. Unlike fashion magazines or advertisements, social media feeds are endless. Algorithms continue to feed us more of what we’re looking at—good or bad. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t all take small steps in our own lives to make our engagement with social media as constructive as possible.