Written by Masturah Shafaq
Environmental wellness focuses on the interaction between the environment (natural or man-made) and people. It is a two-way phenomena – how humans change the environment, and how the environment changes humans’ behaviours and experiences.
The form of environmental wellness that is often overlooked involves the online environment – encompassing social networking sites and blogs, among others. Social media has the power to amplify contents and the amount of information readily available with low entry barriers and no geographical boundaries.
Social media often reflects an unrealistic worldview. There exists an abundance of videos and photos of influencers living the ‘life’ and having it all under control. We tend to feel the need to keep updated, process heaps of information, and maintain an online presence for the fear of ‘losing out’. This creates feelings of despair, anxiousness and helplessness.
Some harms of content sharing and social networking include:
1. Prone to boredom and unable to manage it hence – engage in social media to ‘kill time’, resulting in an addiction.
2. Social media information and communication overload.
3. Social media fatigue – as you can engage anytime, anywhere and there are high volume of content and connection demands.
Ways to reduce the harm:
1. Be authentic when you are online.
2. Follow people and the things that give you joy and share inspiring stories.
3. Support a healthy online community.
4. Remember what you see might not be reality.
5. Link instead of compare – instead of comparing your life with that of an influencer, try to make connections to what you can learn, follow or do better.
6. Limit usage and interact physically more often.
7. Live in the moment – instead of posting, taking videos and photos all the time.
8. Talk to someone when feeling anxious, stress or overwhelmed from the amount of content or the interaction.
Give these useful suggestions a try, and observe how these methods will help to positively impact your environmental wellness!