We are spending more and more time on social media. One problem that’s emerging now is that social media’s algorithms often show us things that get us anxious, angry, or upset because this content is what keeps us engaged and clicking. This means that the news articles we see may be the most outrageous, the posts we see may be the most stressful, and the ads we see may be the ones that get us the most riled up. So spending more time online just might mean we feel more negative than ever.
But negative experiences do not necessarily result in negative outcomes like depression or anxiety. Some people exhibit resilience – in other words, they maintain or improve well-being in the face of stress (Want to test your wellbeing? Take the well-being quiz). This may (at least in part) explain why social media doesn’t make everyone feel more negative. So what are these “resilient” people are doing differently? And how can the rest of us use social media to cultivate resilience?