Refresh Your Online Presence for the New Year
By: Lauren Silverman
The New Year is often considered the best time for a fresh start. With the previous year behind you and your slate wiped clean, you can focus on your future goals and improve your well-being.
This New Year, start with the obvious.
Social media has a large presence in our daily lives. We use it to connect with old friends, keep up with our interests, and discover new things. However, it can become stressful and tiring when overused.
Taking a step back to evaluate your social media use is a perfect way to enter the New Year with a clearer mind.
One way to refresh your social media is to open up your networking apps, such as Instagram and Facebook, and take a look through your follower and friend lists. Whose content do you genuinely want to see?
Sometimes, following celebrities such as models and actors can stress us out and heighten our expectations to an unhealthy level. It’s a good idea to take a break from these heavily-manipulated, controlled images by unfollowing the offending accounts.
While it is more difficult to disconnect from friends and family for obvious reasons, if their content is souring your mood, you might want to consider removing them from your social media feed.
If unfollowing/unfriending is not an option, there are a few handy features you can use. Facebook and Instagram’s “unfollow” and “mute” features keep you from seeing someone’s content while preserving your status as friends.
Another way you can clean out your social media is by following inspirational accounts. Replace your toxic online friendships with fulfilling ones.
Positive accounts can fill your feed with beautiful poetry, motivational messages, and advice for healthy living. Seeing this content might improve your mood and inspire you to surround yourself with positive things.
You should also reevaluate your own behavior on social media. Are you constantly complaining about school or starting comment wars with strangers? Now is the time to turn your negative online habits into something meaningful.
Instead of complaining, change your angle.
If you had a stressful day in class, for example, try to focus on something good that happened, no matter how small. Perhaps your coffee was delicious, or you saw a friend in the library. Highlighting tiny joys rather than negative feelings can improve the way you deal with your problems in the future.
Updating your bio can also help you feel ready for the New Year. Why not change your profile picture to an image where you truly look happy?
If you have the option to update your background photo (on Twitter or Facebook, for example), make sure you pick something that represents who you are. You might want to pick an image of you and your friends, or of an event that you enjoyed, such as a concert.
If you have New Year’s Resolution that you’d like to work on, it might be helpful to make a separate account for it. This can help you stay motivated.
For example, if you’re trying to get in shape, you can make an Instagram account to post about your favorite workouts and healthy snacks. This is a great idea if you’re looking to connect with like-minded people online.
If you have a team rallying behind you, you’re more likely to succeed in your resolution.
Lastly, take a look at your social music apps and declutter as much as possible.
If you don’t listen to half of your Spotify or Apple Music playlists anymore, delete them. The music is still accessible through a quick search, and your interface will feel less cramped.
You might want to look at curated playlists to motivate you for the New Year, or you can make your own. Make yourself a positive playlist as a reward for your social media cleansing.
If you take the initiative in your social media overhaul, you’ll feel readier than ever for 2019.