5 Steps to a Happier Life Online: Banish Internet Negativity

 

 

5 Steps for a happier life online, how to banish internet negativity, girl on the bed, anthropologie mug, loungewear

 

The internet is a really wonderful thing. We are the ‘I’ll Google it‘ generation, any film you could possibly want awaits at the touch of the button, some find love or make life long friends. You can order a new coat at 3am from the comfort of your own bed and if you’re bored at work, well there’s an entire abyss of funny cat videos basically crying out your name. For me, and for many others I’m fortunate enough to know or to admire from a distance, the internet is a source of income and of creativity.

But let’s face it, the internet is also a bit of a wanker.

Whether it’s moany, attention-grabby statuses, the fact that every other person on your Instagram feed seems to have a Gucci Marmont and you don’t or because today all you managed to do was get out of bed and boil the kettle but your mate Susan totally #smashedit.  

Some times the internet is really overwhelming and the obvious solution – and a practice that I try and adopt every few months regardless for the sake of my sanity/eyes/that book I’ve been meaning to read – is to log off. That’s right, you heard me! Log the fuck out. So many people have told me that they’re worried that all their followers will jump ship if they’re not engaging constantly but I am living proof that actually, that doesn’t happen at all. Whether you’re taking a break because your mental health demands it, because you want to spend a weekend with your family without refreshing every twenty minutes or because you’ve just had enough of other peoples bullshit, do you know what will happen when you log back in again? Nah-dah. Absolutely sweet FA because chances are that 90% didn’t care or didn’t notice that you had a nice time without them and the worst you’ve missed out on is another jumped up Youtuber sharing inappropriate content in the name of views.

Obviously logging off isn’t a long-term solution to ward off internet negativity, but these 5 tips below will certainly help to make the space you occupy online a much happier and healthier one:

 

 1. UNFOLLOW

I know I’m constantly harping on about this, but if what someone is sharing is not gelling with you then just unfollow them. You have absolutely no obligation to anyone (except your mum) to consume their content and whether it simply isn’t floating your boat or worse still, it’s bringing actual negativity into your life, then just hit that button. Maybe you’ll offend them, but chances are they won’t even notice (if you’re the kind of person who does keep track of when someone unfollows you then advance to step 3, do not pass go, do not collect £200) and if they do, well…so what?

It doesn’t have to be a personal or vindictive move whatsoever, it’s just simply you taking control of the content and the people that you’re exposed to on a daily basis. 

 

2. DON’T KEEP YOUR PHONE BY YOUR BED

Now this one kind of merges into the category of general life advice/essential for a better night’s sleep but I honestly think having your phone by your bed is one of the most unhealthy things you can do for both your body and your mind.

The temptation to start and finish the day with a quick scroll is hard to resist. Many a time I’ve woken up and no sooner than I’ve opened my eyes and gasped the word ‘tea‘, I’ve also been confronted by 28 emails demanding my attention, a screen full of notifications and some depressing news article. Give yourself the chance to wake up properly before diving in!

The same goes for bed time, not only do I find myself staying awake longer than I intended because I’ve somehow stumbled deep into someone’s album entitled ‘Dubai 2008’, thus disturbing my sleep, but I often see or read things that keep my brain wired just at the point when I’m supposed to be switching off. Whether it’s something really fab that makes me want to jump out of bed instantly and start brainstorming, or something a bit shit that leaves me tossing and turning with anxiety all night, it’s just not a good move. 

 

5 Steps for a happier life online, how to banish internet negativity, girl on the bed, anthropologie mug, loungewear

 

3. DELETE THE ‘WHO UNFOLLOWED ME’ APPS

Right now. I’m serious. Absolutely nothing, I repeat nothing good can possibly come of them. If you’re a blogger or an Instagrammer or you care a little too much about what other people think of you then chances are you’ve downloaded one at some point and how did it make you feel? Shit. Absolutely wank.

I’d love to just tell you to not care but I know that for some people that’s too much of a mountain to climb right now. It’s fine if you do care, but do not subject yourself to the self-harm that is reading something that you know will bother you.

And hey, that person who unfollowed you? Well they had every right to. It doesn’t mean that they hate you or that you did something wrong, just that perhaps they don’t share your style anymore or that perhaps even unwittingly you’re having the kind of negative effect on them that I mentioned in step 1. There are millions more people out there who DO share your style, who DO enjoy your content and who DO want to follow you, so focus on those. 

 

4. ACTIVELY PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY MORE

We have a tendency to have our phones glued to our palms pretty much 24/7, but when you’re out for dinner to catch up with a friend or having what was supposed to be a relaxing bath and you’re still scrolling away then you need to take a step back into reality. Call it mindfulness or living in the moment or whatever the hell you want, sometimes it is just not appropriate to have your phone out, and other times it’s actually just really fucking rude.

I’ve had to ask someone to put his phone away in the theatre before and do you know what he did? He got up and left! He walked away from a £100 Les Mis ticket because I had the balls to tell him it wasn’t okay to text during the show and it definitely wasn’t okay to try and film it either, however spine-tingly One Day More may be. I wish this was an isolated incident, but the girl I sat next to during The Lion King thought it acceptable to pepper Hakuna Matata with Andy Murray at Wimbledon on iPlayer. No kidding. 

Logging off may be an extreme way to banish the internet blues, but on a daily basis you can actively choose when you do and don’t pick your phone up. I certainly know I’m guilty of it and so now I try really hard to leave it in the other room when I’m eating supper and it is officially banned from intruding on my bath time (after I’ve taken a quick snap of my Lush bathbomb for Insta, naturally). 

 

5. IF YOU HAVEN’T GOT ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, DON’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL

That goes for Instagram, Youtube and the like or to that Trump supporter on Twitter. I am all for freedom of speech and for healthy debate but if you are leaving a comment that you know full well is going to hurt someones feelings then you are an arsehole.

 

5 Steps for a happier life online, how to banish internet negativity, girl on the bed, anthropologie mug, loungewear5 Steps for a happier life online, how to banish internet negativity, girl on the bed, anthropologie mug, loungewear

 

 

 

Photography by Chloe Ely

30 Comments

  1. January 4, 2018 / 8:38 pm

    I’m an offender of the “who followed/unfollowed me” app 🤦🏻‍♀️😩 it became an addiction and it seriously rubbed me the wrong way when someone would follow/unfollow me. I need to delete it because it doesn’t do anything for my productivity or happiness. Because you’re right, who cares?! There are people who want to follow me, and people who don’t. I have my preferences just like they do. Love your openness and raw honesty!

    • Beth Sandland
      January 4, 2018 / 8:46 pm

      Hey Kris, I love YOUR openness in this comment! Go on girl you can do it xxx

    • January 13, 2018 / 3:10 pm

      I’m also the same Kristiana! I never cared about it before I started blogging. In fact, before I did Instagram for my blog, someone messaged me outraged ‘why did you unfollow me?! What have I ever done to you?’ I just thought ‘woah, you post too much shit I don’t want to see, it’s not that I don’t like you, why are you so annoyed about that?’
      But since blogging I totally get it now and it can hurt! But it’s so unhealthy so I should delete the app

  2. January 4, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    Loved this post Beth! I’ve been a lot better with putting my phone away and just started to put my phone well away from my bed too! Thanks for sharing doll xxxx

  3. January 4, 2018 / 8:55 pm

    Yes, yes, yes to all of this. Social media used to be just a fun place where to get inspiration, not a cause of stress. I’m 2018 I am trying to make it a fun place again. I would also suggest being relatable and transparent with your own followers because it lightens up the space for everyone. Personally, I really enjoy it when you are particularly transparent on instagram and show how not everything is perfect to a t!

  4. Esther
    January 4, 2018 / 8:57 pm

    Hey Beth, thank you for sharing this blog – it couldn’t have come at a better time! I’m relatively new to blogging, and I’ve been working really hard on my instagram recently. Today I had some negativity thrown towards me, kinda slating my instagram and it really got me down. Luckily I have wonderful people supporting me, but I just wanted to say thank you for this, you speak my mind! Xx

  5. January 4, 2018 / 10:20 pm

    Love this, especially no. 1, and I certainly don’t feel guilty about this, it’s nothing personal!

  6. January 4, 2018 / 11:00 pm

    LOVED THIS!! You nailed it girl!! I am definitely guilty of being on my phone a lot, BUT I do make a huge effort to never be on it when I’m at the dinner table, out for food and so on… and who on earth would be on it at the theatre?! That’s ridic!! Although I did still post over Christmas, I barely spent any time on social media and it was bliss. It’s so nice to have undisturbed conversations, and play games!! I love the internet so much, but it’s definitely all about knowing when to step away, and just take time for yourself, and your family and friends xx

  7. January 5, 2018 / 1:01 am

    What a good read to have before I go bed! It’s so true putting your phone away is more healthier have to start doing it more! Loved the post hun xxx

  8. January 5, 2018 / 9:52 am

    Another lovely well written post, i just love your writing style! I am definitely guilty of most of these things, especially scrolling before bed! I must try and switch off more xxx

    sophieinwonderlandxo.com

  9. January 5, 2018 / 12:28 pm

    Loved this post babe! I really need to make more of an effort to not have my phone by my bed/ put it away more. You know I’m guilty of the ‘follow/unfollow’ app & I really need to grow a pair & just delete it. You’re so right, it causes my unhappiness than anything & in all honesty it’s become a bit of an obsession. I need to remind myself that it’s not personal & that I’m not always going to be everyone’s cup of tea & that’s okay (the curse of being a people pleaser). Well done again beautiful xxx

  10. January 5, 2018 / 4:41 pm

    You’re 1000% on the money with this post! So inspired to let go of the tech anxiety and just live!!! Love it!

  11. January 5, 2018 / 4:42 pm

    You’re 1000% on the money with this post! So inspired to let go of the tech anxiety and just live!!! Love it! Go Beth!!!

  12. Laura Burgess
    January 5, 2018 / 7:18 pm

    Loved this! More lifestyle/feel good/motivational posts please!! I love the way you word things and fyi, look lush in the pictures xxxxx

  13. January 6, 2018 / 3:21 pm

    Loved this!! Your right, it’s SO important to take a break from social media every now and again!! I’ve been trying to take breaks from going on my phone and social media and honestly I always feel better for it afterwards. Great post! Xx

  14. January 6, 2018 / 11:01 pm

    Thankfully I don’t really care how much followers I have on my Instagram because I guess I have other stuff to focus on…???? I really enjoyed this article I do hope that some of those who stumble on this article learn some great advice from you.

    Michelle| http://www.brokebutflawless.com

  15. January 7, 2018 / 2:08 pm

    LOVE this post beth! The internet can be such a bitch but looking after yourself online can result in a much more enjoyable experience

    http://www.petiteelliee.com

    Ellie xx

  16. January 7, 2018 / 5:37 pm

    Amazing post as always! Obviously, getting rid of our phones forever is not a viable option for most of us, but finding better balance and using the internet for constructive purposes is what we should strive for. I used to have a bad habit of constantly using my phone while walking down the street before I realised that it stops me from being mindful of the people around me as well as basic road safety, lol. Hope you are having a wonderful 2018 so far!

    maria | http://whatismaria.com

  17. January 10, 2018 / 8:14 pm

    Yes yes yes to all of this! I agree, its sometimes so important to just switch social media off for a coupled of days, as it gets so toxic refreshing it all the time! x

    Han | lifewithhan.blog

  18. January 11, 2018 / 12:43 pm

    I’ve stopped looking at all “unfollowers”, it’s definitely made life easier. I also try and put my phone slightly out of reach when I’m in bed so it’s a proper effort to lean over a grab it lol xx

  19. January 13, 2018 / 11:40 pm

    I try and keep off my phone after a certain time, and I’m not shy to get rid of people who use offensive language or strive off negativity. Put yourself first when looking over social media!
    Great post sweet!
    Charlotte-Nichole
    x

  20. Polly
    January 14, 2018 / 9:28 am

    Just stumbled across your blog and I absolutely love it – your openness and honesty is just so refreshing!

    Polly | http://www.pollymaisiexo.com

  21. January 20, 2018 / 3:42 pm

    I just downloaded an app called “forest” that is meant to help you use your phone less – if you pick it up the tree goes back to a seed. The idea is that by the end you’ll have a whole forest, by leaving your phone alone and letting it grow – so we’ll see if it works!

    I’ve never had a ‘who unfollowed me’ app, but i am focusing less on instagram likes and take it personally if someone doesn’t respond to a comment. I spoke about IG quite a bit on my blog last year, because i DID let it get to met and i’m so much happier being more myself now!

    I think it’s so important too to take social media with a pinch of salt too – not thinking everything you see is true or falling into the comparison trap. Why you’re right about unfollowing the people affecting your wellbeing – taking back control!

    Bumble and Be

  22. January 23, 2018 / 9:45 pm

    You’re so right on all of this!

    I absolutely love blogging, but as a tiny blogger, I attach a significant amount of my worth as a blogger to how well it’s received online.

    I set myself a goal of commenting on at least five new blogs a day in addition to my usual favourites, and I feel hurt when I get absolutely nada back. I’m commenting because I want to be supportive, but I can’t lie, I also would like some validation for myself.

    I gotta take a step back and not get so bothered by it; it’ll only put me off doing something I love, and that’s not what I want at all!

    Steph 🙂
    xo

    • Beth Sandland
      January 23, 2018 / 11:10 pm

      It’s so good of you to admit that, and it definitely does sound way more damaging to you than anything! It’s great to be supportive and people ALWAYS appreciate comments but you shouldn’t feel hurt if they don’t respond immediately or reciprocate because it’s never personal! Focus on you and on engaging with the content you love 😘

  23. January 24, 2018 / 7:35 am

    i’ve been making a huge effort to put my phone away more, on the weekends ive been getting pretty good at putting it in a drawer and checking it at the end of the day. it’s made a HUGE difference to my overall wellness as well, no more endless bloody scrolling! do still love an instastalk in the morning – thats the next thing in workin’ on!

    looking GAAAAWJUZZ in these pics too. PHWOAR.

    katie. xx lacoconoire.com

  24. February 19, 2018 / 12:56 am

    I found your blog through twitter, and I’m so happy I did! I totally relate to every single thing you mentioned. I have done a few of these things slowly, such as taking some time off of social media. It does a world of a difference. I also make sure that looking at my phone isn’t the last thing I do before going to bed. Great post beth! xxx

    Melina | http://www.ivefoundwaldo.com

  25. February 19, 2018 / 10:07 am

    Such great tips!! I try and unfollow negativity!! I have also been monitoring my time on social media since it can take a real toll on my general well being and mood!!
    Charlotte-Nichole
    x

  26. Molly
    March 2, 2018 / 11:11 am

    I really enjoyed reading this and I loved the honesty in your words – it definitely came at the right time, thank you!

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