Social Media 101: Lessons I’ve Learned The Hard Way

It’s so easy to get discouraged on social media nowadays.  As technology becomes more widespread, it’s important to be sure you’re using social media in a productive way and causing no mental harm.  I’ve struggled with using social media in a healthy way for a long time, and now that I feel I’ve gotten over that hump, I will share with you the things I stay conscious of while surfing the web.

*“Comparison is the Thief of Joy”

This is a phrase my parents implanted in me and my siblings growing up.  There will always be someone “prettier” than you.  Always someone with more material items, always someone with more friends.  One of the hardest lessons I’ve learned, not just surrounding social media but in life, is that you will never be happy comparing what you have to someone else.  How can you appreciate the flowers in your own garden, if you spend all your time watching everyone else water theirs?

*Understand What Social Media Is

This tip and the last go hand in hand.  It’s important to understand that social media is meant to broadcast the “best” version of somebody.  Sites like Instagram are designed to share your best moments, achievements and pictures.  Comparing someone’s best version of themselves on Instagram to the version of you in real life is an unfair standard to hold oneself to.


As we grow older and start to apply for internships, organizations, jobs and more opportunities, our online image becomes more important.  The way you represent yourself online is a reflection of how others will perceive you. Once you put something out on the Internet, it’s out there forever.  Be sure that anything you’re putting up on your page, you’d be unashamed of your mother or boss seeing it!

*Everyone Is Not Your Friend

Internet safety is so important!  It’s easy to be manipulated and tricked on the internet in these times, so be sure you have the proper privacy measures in place to filter out anything unwanted and be cautious with giving out your personal information.

Using social media now while being intentional with these practices, I have noticed how much more enjoyable it is for me to connect with friends and how much healthier my mindset is revolving around social media presence.  I hope these tips do the same for you!


By Gabrielle Bolton, Freshman, Howard University

Instagram: @missxxbolton


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Written by Gabrielle Bolton

Hi! My name is Gabrielle Bolton and I attend Howard University. I am beyond grateful to have been given a platform to share my voice with you all, and I hope you enjoy my work! ❤️

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