Social media and mental health are directly related. So much that you bear the burden whether or not you are aware of what’s happening.
According to WHO (World Health Organization), mental health conditions (the sneaky, silent pandemic that it is) are on the rise (read: 13% or so).
Why am I talking about WHO, social media, and mental health conditions you wonder? Allow me to explain:
As entrepreneurs, we already took a leap of faith.
Risking everything “comfortable”, we set out on a dream to achieve bigger goals (whatever those might mean). Anything that distracts, hurts, delivers pain is another one of those things you didn’t want as an entrepreneur.
You want progress? You ain’t getting nowhere with all of these cycles of depression, mental health issues, or frustration.
Social media — without us knowing about it (or maybe you do, but you choose to ignore) — is toxic, leads to depression, and causes unnecessary anxiety (especially for entrepreneurs).
Take all of “business” into consideration and the scale is much larger. Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety cost the global economy a whopping US $ 1 Trillion each year.
Now, let that sink in.
However, you still need the collective reach of the platforms. The power of social media for social proof, for discovery of your brand, for engagement, for the friends you’ll make, and so much more.
Where’s the balance? How do we do it? I got a few ideas.
See how social media causes mental health and how to manage and use social media the right way:
Avoid Social Media Toxicity [Most Of Everything Is Fake]
I wrote about how social media is toxic previously. There’s a good chance that social media is a waste of time for your business as well.
If you are out of that zone (and you do find social media necessary), then read on
Most of what you see on social media is fake, false, and full of nonsense. There’s a reason why Reddit threads like “r/LinkedInLunatics” exist — making fun of everything “over the top” on LinkedIn (and most of what you see there indeed is).
I weed out the crap on LinkedIn and Twitter and only spend time sharing my content and connecting (while learning) to people that are honest, down-to-earth, and are not “fake”. Trust me, it’s hard to weed out the crap.
“I made $1.6 million just writing articles”?
“How my Startup Makes $100,000 MRR in 60 Days”?
Bullshit again. Plus, I don’t care (neither should you).
Everyone is just flexing on social media networks (from twitter to TikTok; from YouTube to Instagram Reels).
Beware of what kind of content you consume, who you trust, and what you do there.
Eventually, this leads to “keeping up with the Joneses” at a scale. It makes you feel that you don’t belong. It makes you question yourself.
You don’t need this in your life. You do you. The way you want to do you.
Schedule Posts + 10 Mins (per day) Engagement
I don’t care what the LinkedIn gurus and Twitter Pros tell you: there’s no need for the limitless scroll on any social media networks whatsoever.
If you are an entrepreneur, marketer, content creator, or blogger focused on creating content (as a part of your content strategy) and on social media, you are in this for the long haul.
You could be using social media for:
- Sharing or distributing published content (such as your blog posts, eBooks, and other content)
- Engaging with others on social media (such as commenting on others’ posts on LinkedIn and on Twitter)
- Responding to comments on YouTube.
- … and so on.
I highly recommend not spending all day on social media networks (any of them).
For sharing and distributing, use a social media scheduler or planner.
Spend not more than 10 minutes on actual engagement (commenting, chatting up, talking, creating native social content (like writing specifically for Twitter or for LinkedIn).
Social Videos: Go Freestyle
I mentioned just how much time is wasted just editing videos. The endless need for endless revisions and editing comes from the need for perfection.
The worst kind of videos you make are those that have a hidden agenda, give out false information, or try to mislead viewers.
As long as you are honest and when each value is packed with value — everything else you worry about is fine.
You know, the “umms and aahs”, the long gaps in speech, “actually”, “really”, “as you can see”, and many others? It’s alright.
Can you talk to your mounted DSLR, webcam, or directly on your phone?
Do it. Do it freestyle. Do it without a care in the world.
Never mind that it seems no one watches anything. It’s alright.
Repurpose Content [Don’t Start all over again]
It’s not just blog posts and content assets (such as eBooks or reports) that can be repurposed. Social content can be repurposed too.
Repurposing content doesn’t mean copying and pasting an older piece of content; it means giving it a new twist, or rewriting it for timeliness.
Specifically in the case for repurposing content for social media, you can:
- Turn a longer blog post into several LinkedIn posts or Twitter posts or even Twitter threads.
- Pick an older social media post (LinkedIn or Twitter) and rewrite it in a different way.
- Slide and dice full-length videos (those already created for YouTube), or complete webinars or live streams into smaller videos for social media.
- Share and reshare content you already posted on social media.
How will you play this one?
Save time. You don’t get more of it.
Schedule downtime for Live Streams
Live streaming is huge today. Along with videos (of all kinds), live streaming is great for your business.
This doesn’t mean that you spend weeks just planning live streams and God-only-knows-how-much-more-time for actually going live, responding to comments, and more.
Look at your calendar for specific downtimes, related to your business.
Schedule live streams during these downtimes. You don’t do live streams or webinars in the middle of a busy Monday.
Use features that several live streaming platforms provide (such as Restream). For instance:
- Restream allows you to upload complete videos and then stream these as live streams. You’ll still be active during live streaming to respond to questions, engage with your audience, and so on.
- Restream connects directly with tools like Descript — which in turn helps you save time editing live streams, pulling out transcripts, repurposing live streams (for shorter social videos), and more.
- Both Restream and StreamYard (along with OBS and others) help you “multi-stream” to different social platforms (such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) at the same time. Comments are pulled in to help you respond from a single place.
Stream when you can. Keep your streams focused.
Automated and Well-Managed Webinars
Just like Live Streams above, modern-day webinar platforms help you launch automated webinars.
Create the actual webinar (anytime), push the video to the webinar platform, and only stay active during the actual webinar play (from X AM to Y AM, for 30 mins flat).
That’s it. Of course, if you do choose to do regular webinars (and not automated), the same principles apply:
Show up at the time you schedule.
Cut the rambling nonsense.
Say what you have to say (whatever the topic was about), engage with your audience, and leave.
Social media and mental health, I repeat, are related (in a twisted way).
The key is to do what you ought to do for your business but manage to stay out of the networks for the most part, get in and get out, and limit your engagement (to absolute necessary levels).
Meanwhile, ignore the trash you’d end up reading everyday. Most of it anyway.
How do you manage social media? How do you handle Social Media Anxiety, social media related mental health disorders, and the toxicity?