SOCIAL media is always demonised. Florence Given's undeniably relatable artwork reads, 'Name one successful woman who got to where she is by scrolling on Instagram depressing herself with other people's fabricated lives.' We can all relate. The hours I've spent scrolling and scrolling and scrolling through Instagram, stalking other women with high-flying, well-paid jobs, hot boyfriends and incredible wardrobes are too many to count. But I'm here to convince you that social media doesn't have to be negative. The beauty of the beast is that you are in control of what you see. If you want to start your day staring at Victoria Secret models at the breakfast table [side note: who even has a breakfast table?!], don't be surprised when you feel inadequate.

Here are my top tips for using it to feel good and stay sane..

Follow those who inspire, entertain & educate 

I truly believe the people I follow have had a positive effect on my self-esteem. I stopped following anybody who made me feel bad, failed to teach me anything positive, seemed to be glamorising their lives an alarming amount, or didn't inspire me. Now I follow a diverse range of people, who are spreading positive messages. I don't follow size 0 models [although no shade to those who are slim!], the Kardashians, or fitness accounts. The body positivity movement has improved my relationship with my body a huge amount, so why would I ruin all their hard work? Some of my favourites include @Lottielamour, @rollinfunky & @beaniegigi

Limit how long you spend on it

I read the book How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price, and I realised my phone had taken over my life - including of course social media. I don't think it's realistic to ditch your phone entirely, but one thing I did take from it was that I could easily keep track of how much time I was spending on social media and make an effort to limit it. Download a tracking app to look after your mental health - I recommend Moment.

Enjoy the moment

When I'm out and about, I seem to spend an abnormal amount of time taking photographs (or normal, depending how you look at it). Someone once told me the key was to take photos but stay present. Don't spend 20 minutes at a concert uploading all the content onto your Instagram story. There's plenty of time to do it later, when you're not missing what's right in front of you.

Realise you're not alone

I've talked a lot about Instagram, but other social media can also work to make you feel good too. I follow the author Matt Haig on Twitter. Matt wrote Reasons To Stay Alive, which is all about his battle with depression and how those around him dealt with it. Similarly to his book, Matt is often open and honest about his mental health. It makes you realise you're not alone and unites you with others going through whatever you are - whether that's illness, mental health issues, loss, loneliness, or most other issues you may find yourself facing.

Make new friends...

It used to be the case that meeting people online felt 'dodgy' or dangerous, but today it's hard to avoid. Everyone has an online presence, whether they like it or not. You might make friends with someone through Twitter and the friendship stays there, but other times you may end up crossing paths with that person or arranging a meet-up. While I'd advise being careful, I've met up with other bloggers to take photographs or chat fashion and it's been super helpful and lovely. 

Jacket, ASOS; t-shirt, Topshop [sold out, similar here]; jeans, New Look [similar here]; socks, Sockshop; shoes, Lazy Oaf x VANS; bag, Kurt Geiger.

...and stay in touch with old friends

It's hard to make time for everybody, all the time. Social media may seem invasive sometimes, but on the plus side it helps you to keep in touch with old friends and keep abreast of their lives. You may not have seen your mate for weeks, but at least you can see for yourself what she's upto and know she's doing okay. If she didn't want you to know, she wouldn't put it up after all!

Embrace your passions

When it comes to fashion, there's no better place to see what's #trending, celebrate unique style and to feel inspired than Instagram. There's real people, wearing affordable clothes in their own ways and I LOVE that. My favourite fashion Instagram gal is @meganellaby. Whenever I see her in a look, I feel inspired! Feel free to follow me for behind the scenes snaps, new season garms and regular outfit snaps at @daydreamingbydaisy.

I hope I've made you think twice about all those negative Nancy's trying to make you hate on social media. I truly believe it can be used positively if you stay smart, aware and in control.

'Till next time,

Daisy xox



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