There is no doubt that social media has become one of the most widespread and influential forms of publication on the planet. However, the big three platforms – Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – all tend to get a bit of a bad rap these days. Most of us feel like we spend too much time checking newsfeeds, scrolling through reams of posts and cycling through hundreds of stories in our snatched five minutes of downtime, rather than picking up a book or calling a friend. These personal yet curated profiles have put private lives firmly in the public eye, and can lead to a bad case of keeping up with the Joneses (or, more likely these days, the Kardashians).
However, there is a positive side to all the posts, likes, scrolls and comments. In fact, social media was originally invented to connect people. It can still be used in this way and can be a great source of useful information, healthy inspiration and a place to explore our own creativity too.
Still not convinced? We don’t blame you, and that’s why we’ve put together the guide below, drawing attention to the positive side of social media. Yes, it exists!
One of the best ways to harness social media’s power for good is to really pay attention to who and what you are exposing yourself to. Try following accounts that make you feel good about yourself and inspire you to pursue your personal goals. This could include those of friends, colleagues, celebrities or sports stars, depending on where your interest lies.
Internationally acclaimed pro poker player, Maria Ho, posts snapshots of her jet set lifestyle on her Instagram, alongside her presenting work and top poker tips. You may be wondering what this has to do with your decidedly less glamorous everyday, but Maria is the perfect example of a woman juggling multiple responsibilities whilst pursuing her dream in an arena historically dominated by men. Her feed is full of dedication and inspiration, alongside great travel, beauty and gaming content.
If exotic travel and glam parties aren’t really your thing, then football superstar Alex Morgan’s feed might be more to your taste. This iconic female footballer is originally from the USA, but recently spent time at Spurs here in the UK. She tends to post about a range of subjects from her own family life, to training updates with her club, to snapshots of her two adopted pups, Kona and Blue. Her follower count on Instagram currently stands at 9.2million, so she’s clearly got something special!
The important thing to remember when looking for online inspiration is that it doesn’t have to perfectly match your own reality. As long as you aren’t falling into a comparison spiral, following people who have very different lives to you can be a great motivator.
Despite the bad press it sometimes gets, social media is actually a great place to seek out information on a whole host of different topics. From how to knit a jumper to feminist history 101, there are hundreds of well researched and well-intentioned accounts that exist solely to spread reliable info and start healthy discussions.
The Everyday Feminism Facebook page is a fantastic resource if you want to explore the subject of feminism a little further and find some like-minded people. The account posts original content in the form of videos, photos, infographics, and text posts about subjects ranging from interpersonal relationships through to problems in the workplace. They also link to other related online material from different creators, such as Women’s Rights News, Feminist Info and Feminist Fight Club (a book club to rival our own!).
Over in the world of business, one must-follow woman is Helena Morrissey DBE. After working as a high-profile investment banker, campaigning in support of various women’s charities and finding the time to write a book about it all, Helena certainly has a lot to say and she is well worth listening to. Her Twitter account is full of compelling news stories and shines a spotlight on important issues as well as offering up film and music recommendations.
For more reading: