Tag Archives: Well-Being

How to stay happy on social media

My audience is the MDST 485 class and the goal of this blog is to inform my fellow classmates how to use social media in a way that won’t negatively impact their well-being.

Social media is considered a fun way to stay in touch with your friends and family, but it can also cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. Keep your mental health in check and consider these ways to make social media a happier place.

1. Keep your phone out of your bedroom.

Use an alarm clock instead of depending on your phone’s alarm to wake you up in the morning. Having your phone on the nightstand is a distraction, and only brings unnecessary technology and the drama that comes with it into your bedroom. Keep your bedroom phone-free so that you can get a good night’s sleep!

2. Adjust what you can see on your feed.

Facebook has options to limit posts from certain friends, or to remove certain content altogether. Utilize this tool to make your feed more enjoyable. Whatever that means for you, do it!

3. Set aside daily periods of non-screen time.

We’ve all experienced that awkward 10 minute break where every single person in the room stares at their phone, sitting in silence and ignoring the people around them. Stop doing that! Make a conscious effort to do something other than check your phone during these breaks and especially first thing when you wake up in the morning. Make an effort!

4. Tell people you’re detoxing.

Your friends will continue to bug you and be personally offended if you don’t reply to all the funny memes they’ve sent you. Make sure to let people know you’re taking a break from social media so that they understand why your online presence is suddenly dark.

5. Fill the void.

If you use that void of free time with nothing better to do as an excuse to check your phone, do something else! Try striking up a conversation with the person next to you instead. And if you really struggle with endlessly scrolling through social media at the end of the day, try doing something else during that time to fill your media hunger. Watch a movie, call your mom, leave your house, whatever! There are lots of entertainment options that are more fulfilling than staring at your phone.

There you have it! Simple ways to keep you happy while still keeping up with the online world. Social media is a great tool for communication, as long as we’re in control of our communication methods and how they make us feel.

Hidden messages in social media?

My audience is the MDST 485 class and the goal of this blog is to inform my fellow classmates about how our modern use of social media can have a negative impact on our lives and our well-being.

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You can see it in your Facebook timeline or Instagram gallery – a digital footprint of your mental health.

It’s not always hidden in the obvious hashtags or inspirational quotes, but rather interpreted through the subtle use of words that might be hinting … you’re feeling kind of blue.

And, literally, your photo feed will focus on the cool blues and grey tones in your pictures when you’re feeling blue. Your words reflect your negative energy, and your pictures will look as blue as your words sound. Along with your lessened posting comes the lessening of likes. Nobody will want to “like” your blue enhanced rainy day picture with sad song lyrics.

That’s exactly the problem. When we take to social media to express our emotions and show the rest of the world a little bit of our “real” life, nobody wants to see the real. We’re expected to show the highlights, the happy things that will make other people happy, too. Even when we are posting seemingly happy pictures, there are hidden clues that prove we aren’t as happy as is posted.

The words we use are more telling about our mental health than we realize. This tool analyzes text and examines the words we’re using in order to tell us more about our emotional state.

Analyze your own Tweets using this free tool at http://analyzewords.com/

The Castells reading talked about how we can change the behaviors of others through the use of social marketing. Even if this type of direct marketing isn’t 100% effective, it’s still a positive way to connect with an audience and spread a message. Sharing positive messages, whether that be for the sake of advertising or through our own personal updates, is infectious to the attitudes of others. Once we address our own behaviors and make positive changes, we can influence others positively through social media.

Social Media, You’re Stressing Me Out

My audience is the MDST 485 class and the goal of this blog is to inform my fellow classmates about how our modern use of social media can have a negative impact on our lives and our well-being.

Three billion people are using social media – and we’re spending an average of 2 hours every day browsing among social platforms. With so much time being spent emotionally buried by the online world, how is this affecting our personal lives? Our well-being?

It seems as though when the day is over and our work is complete, there’s still something to stress about. We nervously post a picture on Facebook hoping that it gets enough “likes” to make us feel good, but at what cost? The virtual world of Facebook likes will follow us throughout the day and night, haunting both our dreams and our daydreams. The problem with social media is that it never ends. It almost feels like it’s impossible to turn it off. While scrolling through our feeds looking at cute puppies and cookie recipes, we’re also reading the negativity posted by others who are looking to vent. Even if we don’t comment or get involved with that negativity, it affects our mindset and adds more stress to our thoughts. Venting online can feel good for a brief amount of time. But social media is turning into a trap for all our emotions. And those emotions follow us around wherever we go, creating unnecessary stress in our lives.

The reading by Castells discussed how the Internet absorbs information and retains that information for a long time. When that information all over our Facebook feed is emotional and personally related to us, it can get hard to digest over time. BBC is exploring how social media affects our well-being in their series #LikeMinded, and they hope to provide solutions that could help us all live a happier, healthier digital life.

http://www.bbc.com/future/columns/likeminded

 

Childhood Dreams

I was sitting in church this morning and this question was raised, “What was the dream you had for yourself when you were a child?” Then the follow-up question, “Did you attain that dream, or do you still have that dream?” This really weighed on my heart because my answer to the follow-up question is, “No.”
graduation crop
At the time I graduated from High School in 1993, I set out to conquer the world as a singer. I knew my talent wasn’t at the level of those on the radio, but I knew music was one of the only things I had been consistently passionate about since I could talk. My first vocal solo was at the age of 2 singing Jesus Loves Me in front of the congregation. My parents could barely keep the microphone from me from that point on. Choirs, musicals, church solos and music competitions became the norm for me. I loved stretching my vocal range, vocal styles and tested my stage fright in various sizes of audiences.

One of my favorite places to sing was any sporting event. The roar of the crowd would come to a hush when the announcer would say, “Now please rise as Keri Deike leads us in the singing of our National Anthem.” With the crowd quiet, the air crisp and the teams focused on the flag, with no band or recording to back me up, I focused on the pitch of the first note. The chills rushed down my spine as I started the beginning of the song, “Oh say, can you see…” and they would continue all the way to the climax of the song, “For the land of the freeeeeeee, and the home of the brave.” The crowd goes wild! (Well, not for me, but for the team they were about to cheer on to victory. However, I secretly stole a little of that applause for myself.) The RUSH of approval and appreciation for my talent throughout my young life propelled me to major in music in college.

Why am I not pursuing my dream?

After 2 plus years of singing in college, then in various bands in the Twin Cities, for numerous weddings and many church events, I began to slow down my pursuit of a life as a vocalist. Partially because I got married, singing didn’t pay well, then needed to work full-time, then later I became a mom. My focus and my passion shifted from being a singer to being a wife and then a mom. Priorities of how I spent my free-time went from “gigging” to “gigglin'” with my family. We spent money on a house and not on travel, then evenings out became evenings in as a family. Responsibility and duty overshadowed bookings and shows. The dream became something on the shelves of my mind and currently, only surfaces when I allow myself time to reminisce of days gone by.
Keri in band
I read a post recently on a fitness site that is making me reconsider keeping my dream on the shelf. In the quest of obtaining overall fitness, Robin Gregory shares the importance of finding joy again in the dreams we once pushed aside. This can lead to an overall feeling of well-being. There can be many set-backs in various attempts for success in our lives, but having a goal that we are passionate about can keep us moving forward. If we could open our minds the way we did when we were younger, with no limits to our imagination, we could maybe capture excitement, momentum and perhaps, a piece of the dream that was pushed aside by adult-sized obstacles.

I am going to purpose in my heart to find the passions I once lost. My dream may look different at this stage in my life, but it is still my dream to continue to use my gifts for people’s special days, for church and yes, even the occasional sporting event to honor my country with the singing of the National Anthem.

What dreams have you let go that you would like to pick back up again?