Almost half of the nation has a Facebook account, with the social network boasting 32 million UK users last year.

Photo: PA

Photo: PA

Thanks to our smartphones, it has never been easier to have instant access to our social media platforms, with over half of UK Facebook users now accessing the platform straight from their handset, compared to a quarter who use their laptop, and one in seven who use their desktop. The difference is even more apparent with Instagram, with nearly a third accessing the platform via a smartphone, compared to 4% via laptop.

Despite its popularity, social media isn’t always a positive experience for everyone. In response, online smartphone retailer, e2save, has worked with a range of experts in social media and digital communication to put together four tips on how users can make sure they enjoy social media.

Start with yourself.

According to YouGov, more than a third of social media users in the UK care about how they portray themselves on social media. Author, Fiona Thomas comments: “The online world is a breeding ground for comparison, but if you're focused on what makes you happy, then you won't be swayed by what other people have.

“I've forged so many genuine connections with people online through DMs that have blossomed into real life, offline friendships. When that happens, it shows that social media is just a tool and it's how we use it that changes its impact on society.”

Look at who you follow.

Following people who paint an unrealistically rosy portrait of themselves online can easily make you feel like you’re behind the curve. Unfollowing these accounts can often help to reduce feelings of negativity.

Digital Communications Specialist, Kirsty Marrins, says: “Follow people who are not afraid to show imperfections or frustrations and talk about life when tough, and things don't go quite to plan. Whilst following people who look like they live the perfect life can help you set goals and can be aspirational, it's important to balance this with people who don't filter their lives – after all, we’re only human!”

Have fun.

Remember social media is supposed to be fun, so enjoy using it. Self-help author and entrepreneur, Pamela Sommers, says: “Social media is a great way of interacting with people who have similar interests to you, even if they live on the other side of the world. You can spread positivity by replying to positive comments, complimenting others and sharing positive experiences. Social media is all about engaging with others and socialising online, and most importantly, just have fun!”

Consider downtime.

If you’re not enjoying social media, why not give yourself some downtime away from it? Rob Weatherhead, head of agency at Fast Web Media, says: “The most important thing is to be aware of social media usage, and which interactions bring positivity or negativity.

“It might be time to give yourself a break. This can be done by removing connections or deleting your account altogether. If this feels like a step too far, then deleting the app off your phone is a good interim. I personally took this step with Facebook, initially removing the app as I realised it wasn't adding any value to me, before deleting my account completely. Whereas Twitter I find more value both personally and professionally from my use so that account remains.”

Several companies have introduced ways to monitor phone usage to encourage users to take more downtime. Apple introduced its ‘Screen Time’ feature with iOS 12, letting users track how much time they spend on their phones, and allowing them to turn off notifications during designated ‘downtime’ periods. Android users have a similar tool called the ‘Dashboard’, which tracks how long the phone is used for during the day, and exactly which apps take up usage time. Moreover, an independent alternative is the app ‘Flora’, a habit tracker which grows a virtual tree during downtime but removes it when the phone is used so users are aware of how much time they’re spending on their handset.

Follow positive accounts.

There are plenty of social media accounts which are a great source of positivity. Our favourite is Humans of New York. This account showcases the stories of real people overcoming real obstacles to live their best life, and is certainly worth checking out.

Joe Linnington, Mobiles Expert at e2save, says: “Social media can often be a huge part of people’s lives, thanks to smartphones making the platforms easily accessible.

“We want to encourage users to have a positive experience and make the most of everything social media has to offer. Users can also make use of the block and filter features on social media, and by utilising the increasingly innovative ways to monitor screen time, smartphone users can ensure their interactions with their handset remain positive.”

To find out more information about e2save, head here: https://www.e2save.com/


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