Four Ways to Keep it Real on Social Media (and Why it Matters)

Social media envy is real and most of us have been on either sides of it: we have been eaten up by jealousy over, say, a friend’s perfect Italian getaway; and we have very possibly caused some heartache with our #FoodPorn pictures too. While focusing on the trivial parts of each other’s virtual lives, we often forget that the frustration that ensues is completely self-induced. How come? We all tend to pitch our friends’ seemingly perfect moments against the entirety of our own unedited script and beat ourselves up over how less-than-perfect our life is. While all that sounds like so much fun (sarcasm intended, of course), isn’t it time for us to keep it real on social media?

If we figure out a way to do that, we might be able to build a more holistic and productive virtual environment that we can all lean into without the fear of falling into a pit of self-doubt and inadequacy. But where do we begin? Let me count the ways!


1. Be a Serial Hugger

Have you heard of the Human Hug Project? Learn from the marine veterans of the project and make hugging a way of life. Rain or shine, all of us are suckers for some love, and even if you cannot deliver it in person, a message or a comment can act as the warmest embrace and make your friend’s day brighter.


2. Let it Go!

Let’s admit it, people can push your buttons on social media. The more accessible screen-time gets, running into annoying, infuriating, frustrating people gets easier. So take a cue from Queen Elsa. Too many people seem to get so very angry at every post they read all the time... and that's a problem. You don’t want to be that person because the discontent often bleeds into your personal life, and affects your family and friends more than you know. So set a filter, ignore trolls and just Let. It. Go!


3. Sprinkle Happiness – like fairy dust!

A 2015 study conducted by University of Central Florida found out that happy people make effective leaders. So if you are looking to increase your followers or just keep your current friends list entertained, wear your happiness on your sleeve and spread it generously on social media like sprinkles on a toddler’s cupcake. Warning: Making people smile might become your new addiction.


4. Follow Happy People Back!

You don’t need grief, ain’t nobody got time for all that vitriol! In 2009, Facebook conducted an interesting (albeit mildly devious) study on its userbase which reported that people post more on social media when they see positive messages on their newsfeed. Since it takes so much positivity to spread happiness, follow people who share your goal for more fairy dust points!


Remember that the online world ain’t all that bad! Thankfully, there are more happy, helpful and 100% authentic people on social media than we originally thought, starting with you. So if you ever need comfort or just reassurance that everything is going to be fine, seek help from your virtual friends. It doesn’t matter if you don’t regularly meet them because smartphones, text messages and video calls make it delightfully easy to keep in touch!

To explore other ways to stay in contact with friends, read this blogpost!