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10 Simple Steps To Avoid Being Manipulated On Social Media

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Stop Social Media Manipulation

Like many fun things, social media can be addictive and a lot of people have fallen prey to this addiction. Addiction to social media has many negative effects. One of such effects is the emotional manipulation which leads to varying kinds of psychological and social issues.

In this article, I have outlined 10 tips to stop the manipulation that comes from social media.

 How to Stop Being Manipulated by Social Media:

1. Do More Of Face To face Interactions With People

Face to Face interactions

Instead of spending most, if not all of your social time online, try taking it offline by meeting up with and spending time with friends.

Do fun stuff together.

The conversations you’d have would be more fun and meaningful when done offline than they’d ever be when done online.

Hanging out with friends is more physically and mentally healthy than just lying in bed and thumbing through your social media feeds or being engrossed in a WhatsApp chat.

 

2. Find Alternative Ways To Pass Time

Find alternative ways to pass time

Most times, manipulation from social media comes because there’s nothing else to do, so time is spent thumbing through tweets, Instagram and Facebook feeds or stories.

There are better and more productive ways to pass time. You can see an interesting movie, read a book, go for a walk, workout or watch an educational video on youtube or Vimeo.

3. Remove People or Things That Make You Feel Inferior

Remove people or things that make you feel inferior

Most people get this feeling of inferiority by the activities of others on social media – sharing photos of their visit to exotic locations, something they acquired or simply making a post bragging about their accomplishments.

This is one of the many side effects of social media. Most people feel envious when they see the things their friends share on their timeline. This is one-way people get manipulated by social media.

Regardless of the pictures of parties, vacations, cars, houses or new clothes that constantly flood your feed, be wise enough to know that people posts the highlights or best moments of their lives online.

Some of the things you see are make-believes – people would do anything to get social validation. Do not allow this to stress you or make you react badly.

One way to remedy this is to remove people who constantly give you the feeling of inferiority by the things they post. You either block them or limit their post on your feed.

4. Don’t Fall For The ‘Perfect Lives’

Disregard the ‘perfect lives’

People follow their favourite celebrity accounts on social media religiously. Getting inspiration from their lifestyle is okay but allowing yourself to be manipulated by it Is bad. One thing you should know is that people make you see what they want you to see.

The real image is different from the image they put out there for the world to see. Nobody airs their dirty laundry in public.

The truth is most photos of celebrities posted on social media looking all fine and fit, have gone through a series of editing. Looking up to these unrealistic beauty and fitness standards would be foolishness on your part. Don’t allow the image of ‘the perfect life’ to mesmerise you. 

5. Follow Pages or Accounts That Inspire You

Follow pages or accounts that inspire you

 

Don’t like or follow pages or accounts on social media because of their popularity. Follow accounts whose content interests and inspires you. There are millions of pages and accounts with content that would interest and inspire you. 

Even after following these accounts or pages, you may realise that your newsfeed is flooded with gossips. Do not let this distract you from following your interests.

If you want to get updated with political, social and economic events across the world, follow news channels. You have to follow the right accounts that educate and inspire you and not just the popular ones.

 

ALSO READ: 10 Effective Ways To Say No Without Feeling Guilty

 

6. Do Not Fall Easily For Online Ads

Do Not Fall Easily For Online Ads

 

Big companies or corporations manipulate consumers. They invest huge amounts of money in advertising to boost revenues from sales and pull in new customers. One major medium of advertising is the online medium. You’re bombarded with thousands of ads when you visit a webpage or a social media app.

Most of these ads are targeted, they’re placed based on your likes and shares on social media. When you’re constantly viewing a product online, having a strong desire to purchase that product wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. But don’t allow yourself to be manipulated into purchasing unnecessary items you don’t need.

Many companies aim to get into your head based on your activities on social media and manipulate you into purchasing things you don’t need or things you didn’t plan for.

7. Unplug

Unplug from social media

 

The internet has made life easier – ease in communication, a wide variety of entertainment at the push of a button, fast and easy social interaction etc. All of these are fine, but it is important to know when to pull the plug and take a break from social media.

Focus your attention on the real world and the real people in your sphere of contact. Chase your passions and goals instead of wasting precious time on the internet.

 

8. Turn On Only Important Notifications

Turn on only important notifications

You get notified on all social media apps when there’s something new. This can pose as a distraction when you’re on something important.

Your phone or computer gives off a notification alert, and you impulsively check to see what it is about but spend hours thumbing or scrolling through different posts on social media.

You should as a matter of necessity turn on only important notifications, like your email notification. This is the only way to avoid the distractions that come with notification alerts from different social media platforms.

9. Find A Balance

Find a balance

Research has shown that people get addicted to social media due to the fear of missing out. This fear could lead to anxiety and depression. Finding a balance can go a long way in averting the aforementioned.

Do not agitate to share moments online as soon as they happen. Enjoy these moments and know that they precious to you and the person(s) you’re experiencing them with.

10. Ensure You Use Social Media Platforms Safely

Ensure you use social media platforms safely

The photos, videos or memories you share online could easily be used to manipulate or bully you. Therefore it is important to ensure your information, photos, videos and memories are private, safe and secure from unwanted persons. Cyberbullying is on the rise.

 

 

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