Mental Health and Social Media

mental health and social media

Listen, there’s no doubt that at the center of social media there is always the same question: But is it healthy for me?

social media and mental health

And honestly, it may not be. But, for some, it can be! You are the only person who knows the inner workings of your mind and your limits. For some, social media just isn’t in the cards and that’s totally understandable! It can be a breeding ground for negative energy, but the magic of social media is that sometimes extremely beautiful things come from it.

To help you better understand the pros and cons of social media when it comes to your mental health, we put on our investigative hats and did our research! We compiled a list of the good and the bad of social media to give you a better outlook on one of our most important tools in modern society.

social media PROS:

We love social media because it is all about connecting with people. On a personal level, we can’t go without having relationships with others. And MySpace and Facebook were the first to really show us what it is like to connect and build friendships with people all around the world. Whether it be to stay in touch with family members who are across the country or supporting your Internet bestie, staying in contact with people is the greatest asset of social media.

On most social media outlets, you have the ability to post content in which you will share with others. Being able to have a digital form of self-expression is the reason why Instagram blew up. We can post about anything and everything (for the most part) and let the world see our creative minds before their very eyes. We can make our profiles beautiful and document times in our lives to share. We can make things however we find attractive and allow the rest of our following to enjoy it with us.

social media and mental health

Many people look over the fact that social media has helped countless users become comfortable in their self-identity. This means that although a person may be shy and timid in person, they feel more alive and free to be themselves online. They are able to find a tribe who love and identify alongside them, bringing them into a community of positive understanding. Not only is a community a large part in this, but being able to follow individuals who are pillars in their respective communities bring encouragement and hopes of victory for those just now finding themselves.

To be completely honest, there would be no Girlcrush, (or InstaCrush for that matter!), if it weren’t for social media. Booming in the recent years, Instagram is especially to thank that online businesses are becoming a common way to go about careers. Working from home has never been more accessible, especially if you have a family and other high priorities going on in life. And it’s always a great option for those who’s anxiety or mental health prevent them from working in a corporate environment. (Hi, we’re raising our hands over here!)

Overall: Social media can be beneficial in enhancing a user’s mental health and/or happiness. In a recent study conducted by Drexel University, they studied the responses of 800 photos with the tag #depression. They found that although they found both negative and positive comments on these posts, the positive overwhelmingly surpassed the negative. This is because people tend to find their own tribe on social media and when that happens, the followers empathize  and create an environment where people can wholeheartedly be themselves while having a family-like group surrounding them with upliftment. Social media communities will also make aware of mental health issues by doing campaigns or using hashtags to give others the platform to express their own stories and give their opinions.

social media and mental health

Social Media CONS:

A large population of children now have experienced either first-hand or know someone who has been a part of online bullying or harassment. It has never been easier to be a bully because now you don’t even have to face the person - you just need a keyboard and a profile. People can and will write hateful things just because they feel like - they could have no agenda with you whatsoever. Take a look at the newlywed Bieber’s. Hailey has hundreds (if not thousands) of Instagram profiles dedicated to just hating her because she’s married to Justin. Hatred and harassment aren’t excluded to anyone online.

social media and mental health

Just because you weren’t given the chance to deny an invite to go out with friends just to stay home, doesn’t mean you want it showing up all over your feed. The fear of missing out or FOMO is perpetuated in social media culture. When we have Instagram as an online public diary, we post about the events going on in our lives to share them with our followers. However, it has the potential to show all the fun things your friends are doing that are happening without you. It gives a sense of rejection, isolation, and sometimes a dangerously competitive nature.

When all of your friends and the celebrities you follow are all posting about the latest outfits they purchased or how their on their way to Bali, it’s hard not to think, “Why can’t that be me?” Comparison issues arise when your feed is looking like a “who’s who” of Millennial influencers. Here’s a fun little tip, more times than not, these people return the outfits immediately after taking their pictures and their trips probably aren’t nearly as fun as they’re making it seem. We have both lived in New York City, do you think we’re posting about the pile of vomit in the subway train? No! Just keep that in mind!

Between all of these issues, social media has now become an addiction in our generation. It has gone so far in not only being a mental health issue, but a physical health one, too. People are now going through sleep deprivation because they are staying up, consumed by what their friends are doing or comparing themselves to strangers on the Internet. The addiction comes from needing or wanting that little buzz of a notification to tell you that someone is looking and liking your stuff. And when that happens once, you can’t help but need it happen again, and again, and again…

Overall: Social media can be a really hard place to navigate through all the crap sometimes. When it comes to wanting more likes and comments and views, sometimes people pull extremes to get all of that and more. Between people harassing one another and showing off lives that they don’t really live, it is difficult to decipher what is fake and what is reality.

social media and mental health

Obviously, we love social media. The whole business is wrapped around and marketed all through social media! Everyday in our community, we see beautiful women living their best lives, starting businesses, and growing families with joy and smile on their faces. But like anything else in this world, it comes with its ugly side, too. Just like you, we try our best to perpetuate a positive, uplifting culture for our boss babes to thrive in. And that is all we can ask of one another on social media, no matter what your differing opinions are. If we all try a little more each day to be kinder and say sweeter words, then maybe we can all break the stigma of social media being bad for one’s mental health.

Xoxo,
Katie & Maddie

social media and mental health
social media and mental health
social media and mental heath

Best Ways to Support Other Business Owners or Bloggers on Instagram

how to support other bloggers or business owners on instagram

Supporting other business owners does not necessarily mean buying their products or services. Maybe you have a friend who is a web designer, but you don’t need a website or you already have one. Maybe you have a friend who sells beauty products, but you don’t need anything right now. This does not mean you cannot show your support!

Here at Girlcrush Collective, we’re all about women supporting women, so we’ve put together a list of easy ways to support your friends’ blogs or businesses on Instagram, without spending any money.

Here are some simple ways to support others on Instagram:

Follow them and like their posts

This one really goes without saying. Follow their Instagram account and like their posts! This is especially important at the beginning of their venture. When starting out, business owners and bloggers will have small followings and rely on friends and family as their main engagement on Instagram.

Comment on their posts

Follows and likes are great, but comments are huge! Even just a few words related to their post will help. This kind of quality engagement lets Instagram know that it is a good post that others are resonating with, so be sure to leave a comment when you see a new post!

Share their posts to your story

This is the virtual way of recommending someone to your own audience. Even if you just use Instagram for personal use and don’t have a ton of followers, this still provides quality exposure. You never know if your followers are looking for something that can be provided by your friend!

Shout them out in your stories

Similar to the previous tip, shout them out in your stories. This does not necessarily need to be you sharing a post of theirs to your story, even just a text post telling your followers about them can be beneficial!

Tag friends who may be interested in their business

If you have a friend who is a wedding photographer and another friend who just got engaged, tag them in the wedding photographer’s post! This is a simple, free way for you to help out two friends! Don’t underestimate the effect that tagging a friend in a post can have.

Tag friends who may be interested in their blog

If you have a friend who has a travel blog and another friend who is about to backpack across Europe, tag them in the travel bloggers posts! It’s beneficial for both friends and takes less than a minute of your time.

Recommend them to others

This one goes beyond Instagram. If it comes up in conversation with someone, mention them. You don’t necessarily need to tag your newly engaged friend in your wedding planner friend’s post. If you’re with them and they are talking about planning their wedding, mention your other friend’s name!

Similarly, if you’re with your friend who is about to travel to Europe, let them know the name of your other friend’s blog or Instagram account so they can get any of their tips or suggestions before they go! Word-of-mouth is one of the oldest marketing strategies in the book, but it is still incredibly effective. We trust our friends, therefore we tend to trust their suggestions over commercial marketing.

Save their posts

Saving Instagram posts (clicking the little flag icon on the bottom right of a post) is a valuable way to engage with posts. While others may not know that you saved it (i.e. it’s not public the way that likes and comments are) it still tells Instagram that it is a good post.

Remind them that you are proud of them

Small compliments and reminders that you’re proud of and impressed by your friend’s blog or business is huge. It’s very common for business owners and bloggers to have days where they feel discouraged and want to just throw in the towel, so you never know how badly your friend may need to hear some words of encouragement. Also, we tend to only share the good things on social media, especially when representing a business, so it’s always good to check in and make sure your friends are doing well.


Supporting your friends businesses or blogs does not have to be hard, expensive, or time-consuming. These are all simple ways to show your support, even if their blog or business is not necessarily relevant to you personally!

Do you have any other suggestions for supporting your friend’s ventures? Let us know in the comments!

Xx,
Katie

how to support other bloggers or business owners on instagram without spending any money
how to support other bloggers or business owners on instagram without spending any money

5 Apps for Instagram That You Didn't Even Know You Needed

apps for Instagram

All the best instagrammers know that Instagrowth cannot be done with the Instagram app alone. Well, it could, but it would be a full-time job to run one account. Ain't nobody got time for that. If you haven't read our post 5 Must-Have Apps for Instagram, you'll probably want to do that before reading this post. Gotta crawl before you walk, girlfran!

This is a list of apps for Instagram that are a little more unusual than most Instagram apps you've used in the past. They're handy-dandy apps for a variety of different purposes, from engagement to design.

Source: Ask Lisa

Source: Ask Lisa

Ask Lisa

You know that one friend who, right before you post on Instagram, you always bombard with photos that you cannot decide between? And usually the pictures all look essentially identical but for some reason you need someone else’s opinion before you commit. 

Well, truth be told, your friends probably don’t jump for joy every time you send them a handful of potential Instagram posts. Luckily for you, Lisa lives for that sh*t!

Ask Lisa is your new best friend. Upload the photos that you’re choosing between, and Lisa will analyze them and tell you which one is most likely to get the most likes. AND, she’ll suggest hashtags based on the post!

But as great as Lisa is, hashtags are not her strong-suit. I uploaded pictures of pineapples and candles and some of the hashtags she suggested were #organ #hand and #number. I suggest using Lisa to help choose your photos, and Smarthash for your hashtags (we’ll talk about this one below)!

 

Smarthash

Okay so you’ve done your hashtag research and you’re using all 30 hashtags and everything seems fine and dandy because you assume your posts are doing well in each hashtag.

Ya ever hear that expression, when you assume, you make an ass out of you and me? So let’s not just assume that your hashtags are working, let’s confirm it!

Smarthash is an awesome app that actually analyses the hashtags that you’re using on your posts and tells you which ones are driving engagement and which ones are duds. By paying attention to Smarthash, you can adjust your strategy until you’re using 30 hashtags that are all bringing in the likes and comments!

 

Dollar Eighty

Dollary Eighty is a web-based tool that embodies Gary Vaynerchuk's $1.80 Instagram strategy. This strategy has users give their two cents to the top nine posts on ten different hashtags. When you add up all of your two cents, it is equal to $1.80. By choosing ten hashtags that are very specific to your niche and audience, you'll end up engaging with the top accounts for each hashtag. This gets your name out there! It's best to do this strategy once a day.

Gary Vee says, "It’s as easy as that. The overall process is incredibly simple. It’s .02 cents, on 9 posts for 10 hashtags every day. That all adds up to $1.80. No matter how much value you provide, this is still a game of numbers. You have to be willing to give yourself more at-bats. Everyone else is only leaving .02. You’re leaving a $1.80 Every. Single. Day."

So Dollar Eighty took this concept a step further and actually created a tool that allows you to enter your 10 hashtags, then gives you the 90 posts that you'll want to engage with. Engagement is really the most time-consuming part of Instagram, but it makes all of the difference.

As of right now, there is just a free plan, which allows you to select 10 hashtags and provides you with your 90 posts each day. But coming soon is a premium plan - users pay $1.80 per day (duh!) - that will have even more features such as detailed analytics based on your activity with dollar eighty, view the historical day's most popular posts, and the ability to see what posts within your community are working well!

 

 

Unfold

Don’t be basic with your stories, girl. Booooring! While Instagram has significantly improved the editing capabilities on Insta stories, they can still be pretty blah.

Unfold is an app designed specifically to help you create beautiful stories. The templates are clean and simple and you can add photos and videos. You can also add text and choose between a variety of fonts and colors.

What I also love about Unfold is that you create the stories almost like a book. So you can have a 5-page story and then save it, and upload all 5 posts to your story. It makes it flow very well!

 

My Insta Palette

My Insta Palette, another web-based app, is a little less useful than the other apps, but is SO. FREAKING. CUTE. You sign in to your Instagram account, and My Insta Palette scans through your feed and shows you your color palette.

Here's where it gets adorable.

It reveals your most used color and tells you what your color personality is! Mine is a light pink and it says I have a calming and non-threatening personality, which I like to think is true!

It also gives you your most liked picture and least liked picture, and tells you what filter you used. But because most of us don't use Instagram's filters, the answer will probably be #nofilter.

 

Do you know of any really awesome apps for Instagram that are not on this list? Let us know below!

Xx,
Katie

Did you enjoy this post?

Check out our boss babe’s guide to hashtags!

instagram

IGTV IS HERE: The Ultimate Guide

IMG_4799.PNG

Snapchat used to be the place to go to share your stories until Instagram swept in and launched stories.

YouTube has been THE PLACE to go to share/view videos on the internet since 2005.

Well, Instagram launched IGTV on June 20th and it has the potential to take YouTube's place in the video streaming world.

Next thing you know, we'll be ordering car services through Instagram instead of Uber! Maybe.

The launch of IGTV came at the same time as the Instagram community hit one billion users. More than 1/8 of the entire earth's population uses Instagram. Talk about a powerful platform! 

As founder, Kevin Systrom, says, "It's mobile first. It's simple and it's quality. That's IGTV."


IGTV logo

What is IGTV?

You may be wondering how IGTV differs from Instagram Stories...

Well, unlike Instagram stories, which can only be one minute long, IGTV videos can be anywhere from 15 seconds to 60 minutes long. However, the hour long videos are only for verified/huge accounts. Most Instagrammers will be limited to 10 minutes (which is still a long video)!

The long-form videos are posted to your "channel" rather than your story. Channels are created by Instagram users and each Instagram account is limited to one channel.

IGTV is designed to be viewed from your phone, so videos are vertical and full screen. Don't worry about trying to turn your camera horizontal!

IGTV is a standalone app, as well as an additional feature on the Instagram app. It is up to you whether you will use IGTV on the app or on Instagram! 

How to get started with IGTV

  • Download the IGTV app in the app store

  • Sign in with your Instagram account

  • Click on the settings icon and click create channel

  • Find creators to follow - IGTV will show you recommended videos, videos from people you follow, and popular videos

  • Like, comment on, or share videos

Note: you can also access IGTV from your Instagram app by tapping on the cute little tv icon in the top right corner of your home feed. Users who have created channels on IGTV will also have TV icons on their profile so you can easily view their channel.

How to upload a video to IGTV

igtv

When you're ready to share some great content with your followers, go to your channel by selecting your icon on the IGTV page, as seen in the screenshot (yes, I do plan on binge-watching videos of sleeping kittens). 

Once you are on your channel, click on the + icon to add a new video.

Choose a video from your camera roll (vertical is best)!

Enter a title and description. You should jam-pack this section with keywords to help your target audience easily find your video.

Ready for the really cool part? You can add links in your description! Yes! Traffic! Hurray! Love it!

Then add a cover photo! This is what viewers will see in the lineup of videos, so make sure it's awesome enough to capture your target audience's attention. 

Click post! Now you can view your video's analytics to see how well it is performing!


IGTV Best Practices

Quality over quantity

Like everything else on Instagram, I highly recommend focusing on quality over quantity. You are much better off by posting one really great video per week than quickly-made, not-very-well-thought-out videos every day. You want people to continue coming back to watch your videos and if your first few impressions aren't great, you may lose those viewers in the future.

Don't forget about stories

When you create a video, decide whether it is story-worthy or IGTV-worthy. Are you eating a really pretty cupcake and dying to show your followers? That's probably story-worthy. IGTV videos should be high-quality and valuable. 

igtv

Start right away

The earlier you start using a new feature, the less competition there is. Start putting some amazing content out there before your competitors do! Users are beginning to explore IGTV, so you want to be there for them to discover.

Edit your videos like a pro

You don't need to go out and hire some fancy producer, but I do suggest putting a bit of time and energy into your IGTV videos. You can even make really cool videos with the iMovie app. Start testing out some different video apps and see what you can do!

Create beautiful IGTV covers

Much like Pinterest pins and YouTube covers, you want to create captivating IGTV covers. These will be 1080px x 1920px (iPhone screen size) and will attract your ideal audience to your video. Canva.com is a great place to create beautiful IGTV covers - for a demonstration on how we use Canva to create Pinterest pins, check out this blog post.



What toPost on IGTV

So you’re ready to post a video on IGTV but you’re not sure what to post. Here are some ideas to get you started!

A FAQ Video

Answer some of the most frequently asked questions from your audience! You can post a regular Instagram story requesting some questions, then drive followers to your IGTV videos to see the answers. This is also good to have when you’re asked one of those frequently asked questions in the future - just send them to the video!

Interviews

We love collaborations! Interview people who have value to provide to your audience and share it on your IGTV. This is also a great way to share audiences with someone as the interviewee will likely tell their audience about the interview!

Product demonstration

If you’re a business that sells products, you can use IGTV as a way to demonstrate different ways to use/wear your products. If you’re a blogger, you can reach out to brands to collaborate with and review/demonstrate the product to your followers through IGTV!

Pro Tip: because you can put links in your video descriptions, this is a great way to drive your audience off of Instagram and to your shop or to your affiliate links!)


Our Favorite Apps for IGTV:

For video editing:


For creating IGTV covers:

 

2019 IGTV Updates

To help drive more traffic to its users’ IGTV videos, Instagram has added a new feature: IGTV previews. Now, you can view previews of IGTV videos from users you follow - right on your feed! This is very beneficial for IGTV creators, as it will drive followers to their videos that they would not otherwise see (as many Instagram users don’t frequently watch IGTV).


So, what do you think? Will you be binge-watching IGTV?

In the comments, let us know what your IGTV channel is, and let us know what you'd like to see in the Girlcrush channel!

Xx,
Katie


Did you enjoy this post?

Check out our free InstaStory Challenge to learn 5 ways to drive engagement to your Instagram by using stories!


IGTV

Everything You Need to Know About Pinterest Group Boards (Plus a Master List of Boards)

Pinterest group boards

What is a group board?

Glad you asked! Quite simply, a group board is a board on Pinterest that a group of users share their pins to.

Why should you join group boards?

Pinning to group boards can increase your reach and repin rate significantly (assuming that you are joining high-quality boards). This is because if you have 500 followers, your pins will reach those 500 followers. But if you start pinning to a board that has 5,000 followers, you'll be reaching many more people! 

Keep in mind that it's very important to only join group boards that are within the same niche as you. You could join a board with 20,000 followers, but if you're sharing fitness pins to a DIY crafts pin board, the followers of that board will be less likely to have any interest in your pins, thus less likely to repin them. It's better to join a board with 1,000 followers tho are interested in what you are sharing than a board with 10,000 followers who don't care about what you're pinning.

How to tell a group board from a regular board

Pinterest group boards

How to join group boards

There are several different ways to join a group board. Each group board will have its own rules determined by the board creator. Read the description of the group board to determine how to join the board. Here are the most common things you'll come across when looking to join a board:

pinterest group boards
  • DM the group board owner requesting to join

  • The board is no longer accepting new contributors

  • Email the board owner with a request to join

  • Comment on a recent pin

  • Join the board owner's Facebook group

The group board owner is always the first profile photo that appears to the right of the board title. To join the board, you'll first want to follow them by clicking on their icon. The following icons are the other contributors of the board. This is where you can see how many members a board has.

How to find group boards

stalk your favorite Pinners

One way to find group boards that are relevant to your niche is by going to some of your favorite pinner's profiles. They may be contributors to group boards that you could request to join, or they may even have group boards of their own!

search pin groupie

Pin Groupie is a website that is basically a search engine for Pinterest group boards. You can search keywords and filter the boards to find some that you can request to join.

download the master list 

I know you are a busy bee, so I did the work of finding boards for you! Get instant access to my Pinterest group boards master list, with hundreds of group boards that are accepting new contributors. Includes info about how to request an invite and is even separated by niche!

Group Board Etiquette

It's important to follow the rules that are set by the group board owner in the description (if there are any). Remember, the board owner is essentially lending you their followers, so it's important to respect their wishes.

Aside from the rules set by the owner, there are some basic practices to follow just as proper board etiquette:

  • Follow the board owner

  • Don't spam the board

  • Don't post irrelevant pins

  • REPIN DIRECTLY FROM THE BOARD (IMPORTANT!)

Pinterest group boards

The more successful other pins are on the group board,
the more successful your pins on that board will be!

Do you pin to group boards? Do you find them helpful? Comment below!


*Do you have a group board that you would like added to the master list? Send me a message with the link to the group board, the link to your Pinterest profile, and instructions to join!*