How to Use Social Media for More Mindful Connections

Thanks to Thrive Global for referencing us in this great article.

Once primarily an outlet for creative expression, Instagram has morphed into a real-time competition to build cadres of followers. But enough is apparently enough. The company has announced plans to move back to being a platform blooming with inspiration and good intentions — or at least to address the mental health concerns lodged against it.

Instagram’s executives plan to experiment with hiding numbers of likes and follows. Their goal? To allow people to connect for all the right reasons rather than join in what some have described as a popularity contest. Some Instagrammers like Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness haven’t waited for company-led changes: They’ve made them on their own.

Van Ness’s Instagram feed chronicles his attempts to learn figure skating, a longtime dream of his. The most attractive thing about his videos is that they don’t pressure others into being like him, but rather encourage viewers to tackle their own passion projects. It’s a positive direction that’s leaving fans eager and excited. He’s prioritizing his physical and mental health — ideally what Instagram should foster.

“To see Van Ness finally able to complete a spin — on one foot — and go on to do a routine, all within a month’s time, was inspiring to me,” writes Quartz video journalist Stevie Borrello, “especially as the responsibilities of work, running errands like grocery shopping, doing basic apartment upkeep, and, if I’m lucky, having enough time to prep meals each week, crowd out any thoughts of committing to a long-term goal or dream.”

Put a Positive Spin on Your Instagram Use

If you’ve felt depleted by the side of Instagram that breeds envy, lowered self-worth, and addiction, you have a choice. You can either drop off the ’gram grid entirely or make intentional changes in the way you use the platform. If you choose the latter, adopt these strategies to stay on a more optimistic track.

Read the full article on Thrive Global here.