Social media can seem like a drab place at times, but there are spots of positivity to be found

Most of us are familiar with the difficult side of social media. Whether that be all-hour access to bad news, furious arguments in comment sections, comparison traps, body shaming, or even cyberbullying, these once exciting technological platforms have started to lose their shine a bit.

Though, of course, there is another side. New research from Sky Mobile has found that one in three Brits actively seek out positive content on social media, with each of us spending on average two hours a day searching for uplifting content.

The study found the most popular sources of positivity included animal videos and memes, and posts describing random acts of kindness. Following closely behind was light-hearted ‘when things go wrong’ videos, travel or holiday photos, childhood TV clips, and British pop culture.

“What we consume online impacts how we feel. Even small positive mood boosts can make a difference,” says positive psychology expert Vanessa Kind. “And these don’t just feel good, science shows these can add up – for example helping us be more open to others, more flexible in our thinking, better at creative problem solving.”

45% of respondents agree that when they view positive and inspiring posts online, their mood was boosted for the day – and the research found that Brits love to spread that positivity, with 19% going on to share the posts with friends or family.

“Connecting constructively with people we care about and doing kind things for others are important for everyone’s happiness and wellbeing,” Vanessa continues. “Showing we are thinking of others and sharing positive content online that we think loved ones will enjoy or find uplifting contributes to this.”

While the findings suggest that many of us are actively seeking out positivity, there are many things that you can do to try to create a happier social media feed, to begin with. You can schedule regular tidy-ups of your following list, removing any accounts that might be making you unhappy for any reason. You can also make use of the ‘mute’ button for those cases where you might feel uncomfortable unfollowing someone – for example, if it is someone you know in real life. It is also worth taking some time out to follow pages and accounts devoted to the things that bring you joy in life, like hobby pages, jokes and humour, or fun facts.

“It’s important we’re aware of how social media impacts our mood and manage what we access,” Vaness continues. “We of course need to keep in touch with what’s happening in the world around us, and it’s encouraging to see that Sky Mobile’s research shows that over half (52%) agree that listening to positive individuals on social media makes a difference to our psychological wellbeing.

“What’s great is that there are plenty of practical resources packed with ideas for happier living, such as those freely available from Action for Happiness, to help people boost psychological wellbeing.”

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