If social media increasingly makes you feel anxious or irritated, here are eight ways to enjoy a kinder and calmer experience online. Social media can be a great place to share ideas, learn new things and raise awareness about important issues and good deeds.

But spend too much time online, and you may start to feel anxious, angry or depressed. The good news is you don’t have to completely walk away from social media to call time on online toxicity.

As it’s Social Media Kindness Day on 9 November, let’s look at how you can make the digital world a happier place.

Be kind to others

  • Support and promote people who are doing positive things. Whether they’re fundraisers, volunteers or cracking local businesses, give a shout-out to people who are making a difference.
  • Pause and take a deep breath before you post a comment. If you wouldn’t say it to a person’s face, don’t say it online.
  • Think before you repost content. Is the content accurate? Is it constructive?
  • Remember, your clicks fuel the algorithm. On some platforms, content creators are rewarded for generating traffic, leading some to deliberately provoke, enrage or mislead to boost their viewing numbers.

Be kind to yourself

  • Don’t assume everyone has more money or success than you. Many images and posts on social media are filtered and curated – they’re not real life. Avoid platforms and influencers who make you feel like you’re not enough.
  • Don’t doom scroll. We live in a 24-hour news cycle where graphic footage of terrifying events is only a click away. There’s nothing wrong with following current affairs, but keep track of how your social media exposure impacts your mental health.
  • Avoid getting into slanging matches online. Most likely, the person you’re arguing with thrives on winding people up and isn’t interested in informed debate. If they’re rude or offensive, report them and block them.
  • Listen and learn. The world is an amazing, complex and surprising place. Social media can open your eyes to new books, places to holiday or hobbies.