The dangers of social media are real — overusing it can lead to symptoms of depression, falling into a comparison trap, and feeling more isolated, among other negative outcomes. There’s good reason to be aware of these negative effects (and be prepared to take action in case we start to experience them ourselves). But it’s also important to remember that we can seek out — and spread — positivity through these platforms.
We asked members of the Thrive community to share the ways they use social media to promote positivity.
Prioritize positive posts
“I made a conscious decision several years ago to only post positive, empowering, heartwarming, and funny things on my social media pages. If it inspires me, I post it. An occasional political post will appear on my pages only if a call to action is necessary, where readers can do something to help a situation. I have made some very real friends, business associations, and had lovely interactions on social media. It can be done.”
—Ilene Angel, singer and songwriter, New York, NY
Aim to uplift others
“My Facebook is used for two things: to lift and inspire others, and to make people laugh. I avoid political commentary and anything divisive. Social Media is powerful, considering over one billion people are active every day. We can and should leverage our Facebook and Instagram accounts to spread inspiration and encouragement. Furthermore, the more inspiring your Facebook is, the more people will come back to it. I cannot count the number of times I have posted something inspirational and heard from a reader who said, ‘That’s exactly what I needed to hear today.’ Comments like that encourage me to keep doing it. I use original quotes, quotes from thought leaders and short — under one minute — videos I create myself. You never know, you might be someone’s last, best hope.”
—John Harrell, author, Austin, TX
Share factual information with your followers
“In this post-truth era we live in, the validity of facts from climate change and evolution to the shape of the earth and even vaccine safety is constantly challenged by pseudoscience, fake news, and misinformation. I am using social media to correct misinformation and raise awareness about global health, mental health, and other things I am passionate about. I share the latest news and breakthrough discoveries in the world of medicine and science. I have over 22,000 followers on social media, so I am very careful, and I diligently verify all the information using credible sources before I share. Sharing is caring, but not when what you share is misleading or untrue.”
—Melvin Sanicas, physician-scientist, Zurich, Switzerland
Seek support and connection
“We recently moved to the Philippines. We had a healthy social life and support system back in our home country. Leaving behind our family and friends for a country with a different culture and language was overwhelming. I reached out to a connection of mine on social media whom I met with face-to-face only once on a business trip to Singapore. She happened to have friends in the Philippines, and connected me with them. In a jiffy, I made new friends who extended a warm welcome to us, helped us with school and finding a house, and helped us settle down quickly. The world is truly a smaller place today, all thanks to social media.”
—Supriya Kumar, marketing consultant, Manila, Philippines