AC Coach - Guest Blog Mental Health - 3 Social media, how to make your social media a positive place.

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Chapter 3: social media, how to make your social media a positive place.

Social media. I could go on about social media for a long, long time! These last few years with the B and C word dominating social platforms you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s not even worth being a part of. However, for people who are self-employed like me, and for pages like TOTAL MTB social media is an amazing way to connect with our audience.

Providing us with vital way to boost our social profile and interact with people from all over the UK and the world.

However, social media can be a minefield and a home for people to troll. It can also be the “greatest hits of my life”, so to speak. And for some, social media time can be negative. This is the reason I wanted to create a blog based solely on social media, giving you tips on how to make the most of your social time. And today I want to cover three topics. Negativity, time consumption and scaremongering.

1: Negativity:

Anyone who has posted anything on social media that they are proud of will have had some form of negativity towards them, just look at the way social media exploded in a negative way after the euro 2021 final.

I can give you an example of this myself from the riding world. I worked my absolute arse off in 2019 to get fit, get fast and build up a profile. This ultimately resulted in me receiving a sponsorship deal with my local TREK showroom which included a bike for races. Obviously, part of this included social media work and shortly after I announced this, I received multiple friend requests from the “local riding group” which I accepted, the same people also followed me on Instagram. And then shortly after, the comments came. “Why do you deserve this” “strava says your slow” etc etc, yawn.

While these comments were small, and not really that bad in terms of what they said, they were on my business page, in the middle of lockdown and I was spending time where I could be working on keeping my business alive deleting these comments, resisting replying to them. On top of this I had just split up with my partner of 5 years and had to move out of my house into my parents. So, combined with the stress I was under with lockdown and moving back at home, out of my house things got to me.

So, first: If you are the kind of person who likes to leave negative comments as its “just banter” then think. You have no idea what that person may be going through and how they are affected by what you say.

Secondly: How do you deal with these?

Easier said than done, but you must really work on giving yourself the confidence that these people are doing this out of jealousy, spite or just because they are unhappy with how their life is going. It’s really not worth adding more stress to your day to reply to these and engage. They drag you down into their negative emotion’s and ruin your day. Whenever this happens, take a step back, breath for a minute and think about the things you could be doing that are more enjoyable than responding. Once that is done. You should feel much happier with ignoring them and moving on.

Essentially: Ignore, move on and be positive.

2 Time consumption:

*Top tip: Go for a ride, leave your phone inside when you get back and wash your bike, then go for a ride, wash your bike with your phone in your pockets and see how much longer it takes*

We spend countless hours on our phones during the day, mindlessly scrolling through and can bet that we often care very little about what we are scrolling through.

When we look at the things in our life, they serve a purpose.

Our bikes, allow to us be healthy, to get outside and go for a ride.

Our cars, allow us to travel to places like work, trail centres and holiday destinations.

Our phones, allow us to keep in touch with family and friends across the globe.

Social media must also serve this purpose. People often get confused between social media and friendships, essentially following anyone and everyone while not really giving a dam about what they do.

Your time on social media should be beneficial to you!

I spend plenty of time on it, it’s a vital part of business but that also means I am more likely to scroll through it mindlessly. The way I look at this is, if something pops up that I don’t want to like, comment or save then why am I looking at it?

Content on social media should be exciting or inspirational. Influential figures in MTB for example, or something that else that you have a passion for.

I would also suggest looking into your mindset for that day. It might not always be beneficial to look at people’s greatest hits of my life. You might wake up feeling de motivated and not overly positive. Looking at social media may just drag you down. That’s fine, we don’t have to be positive 100% of the time, that’s just unrealistic. Consider your mental health that day and think, do I really need to browse social media?

One more tip for this is to think about your time on there, evaluate whether you are scrolling with purpose, are you engaging with any of the content on there or just looking for the next good post?

*Tip, if you scroll past 4 posts without liking, commenting, or saving then log off*.

3: Scaremongering.

People love attention, and nothing gets attention like an exaggerated post. “Someone tried stealing my bike in (insert area) while I was riding today”, could literally be someone who was wearing a tracksuit asked me a question about my bike.

Through lockdown these stories were all over the show, and while there is no doubt bike theft exists. You can guarantee that a lot of it was made up to satisfy someone’s need for attention. Look at all the fake news surrounding the B and C words that have dominated the headlines over the last five years.

Social media can be a hive of scaremongering and for some, it can really put people off riding their bikes.

When it comes to scaremongering on social media, do your research before you believe anything you see. And, if something is making you anxious on there then feel free to check in with your local police force’s page. They are incredible when it comes to eliminating rumours as fake news and are very honest when it comes to this too.

Be wary of your time online and take everything with a pinch of salt, essentially.

It’s not all bad:

Social media can be amazing. I have met some incredible riding buddies who have become friends through social media. I have learned so much about bike maintenance and what products to buy too.

However, time on social media should be managed and this really is a subject that you could talk about for days!

But, before you fall asleep let me close this article off with this final statement:

Use your time on social media effectively, manage it as if it was a business and see it as a vital component of your health, know that it can effect you for better or for worse and take a break if need be, follow the content that you are inspired by, don’t be afraid to unfollow accounts that don’t resonate with you or don’t make you feel positive and be sure to fact check before you believe.

Get involved, think twice about what you read and always try to be a positive influence online.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog and have found it resonates with you.

In the next chapter we will be talking about riding (finally).

Have a great day.









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