Here are some tips for using social media and chatting online to uplift yourself and others, in addition to engaging in safe practices:
- Find empowering, positive social media accounts to follow. Accounts that make us feel more optimistic, more knowledgeable and more connected.
Remember that everyone touches up, edits, photoshops their photos, even our friends!
- Unfollow or mute accounts of celebrities or friends that make us feel badly about ourselves. Even if we love our friends, sometimes the things they post on social media can make us feel excluded or inadequate.
- Refuse to send naked photos of ourselves over text -- if someone pressures us to send one, we can say things like:
- “If you really like me, you’ll respect my choice not to send one.”
- “I’m not comfortable sharing naked pictures of myself.”
- “Did you know it’s actually illegal for people under the age of 18 to send naked pictures?”
- Be aware of when group chats are making us feel badly, excluded or sad and think about leaving those group chats.
- Join Facetimes and group chats with people who make us feel good and included. If we don’t have one, create one with specific friends we really trust.
- If something upsetting happens on social media or group chats, tell a trusted adult. They are there to help you, not to judge you!
- If we’re exposed to something confusing or frightening we should speak to a trusted adult. They can help make sense of what we’ve seen!
Image by Cottonbro