Social media comes with an array of benefits; whether that be laughing from memes, connecting with friends or even the potential to create an extra stream of income, it is undeniable that social media has definitely added some flavour to our everyday lives! However, there are always two sides to every coin. Social media has also seen an increase in mental health issues as well as the birth of unrealistic expectations when it comes to appearance; 15% of teens say they were the target of online cruelty and 41% of teens had a negative experience as a result of using a social networking site. As a result, it's more important than ever to spread kindness on these platforms!
Spreading Love Online: although it sounds cheesy, it has the potential to be very effective. This could involve complementing a friend or leaving a positive review for local business that you recently visited. Studies have shown that gratitude makes yourself and others happier. So spreading love and kindness can cause a ripple effect, thereby enabling people to be influenced positively.
Disagreeing Respectfully: there are a million and one opinions about a million and one things on social media, so you are bound to come across an opinion that you strongly disagree with. However, instead of effing and blinding, why not choose to express your opinion in a manner that only preserves your sanctity and respects the other person?! The American Occupational Therapy Association recommends these 8 steps to disagreeing without being disagreeable online.
Sharing Positive Events: Social media can be seen as an echo chamber where our perceptions can be distorted by constant exposure to negative videos, articles, events etc. This has only been exacerbated by the rise of "Fake News". However, sharing more positive content will help to break this cycle and give people a greater perception on how it's not all doom and gloom in the world. Research shows that 1 happy post will inspire 1.75 more happy posts; so slowly but surely the veil of negativity can be lifted.
This goes to show that small steps can go a long way in fostering kinder spaces on social media. It is a wonderful tool that has brought so much joy and connectivity in our everyday lives and it certainly doesn't deserve to be tarnished by the negativity that is on there.
Written by Harin Vinumon