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Why do you care about social media mental health, Maree? You're in marketing

As you may or may not know, I'm setting aside time in 2020 to study people's relationship with social media, via My Social Habit. Specifically, I'm studying social media through the idea that most people have an UNHEALTHY relationship with it.

This week, I asked my network their attitudes and beliefs about that very fact: whether or not they believe they have a healthy relationship with social media.

Here's what they said:

  • On Instagram

  • 61% said they felt they had a healthy relationship with social media

  • 39% said they felt their relationship with social media was unhealthy

  • On Twitter

  • 38.1% of participants felt their relationship with social media was healthy

  • 61.9% felt their relationship with social media was unhealthy

I find it interesting that when looking at Instagram vs. Twitter, respectively, the attitudes of its users seem to be at odds. Ultimately, this makes sense, given the content available on each platform.

[note: my Facebook post had too few responses to gauge attitudes and was more difficult to calculate given the fact there's not really a polling option on Facebook for personal accounts]


On the one hand, Twitter is like a waterfall of content streaming in real-time. There's little filter, room for error, or even mercy from its base. Content often tends to skew negative, especially depending on whom you follow.

Instagram, on the other hand, includes more aspirational and inspirational content, to which many users might feel a more positive connection.


Any marketer worth their weight will tell you that you must understand the platform and your audience if you want to create content that resonates.

Content or material that is "bombing" on social doesn't occur in a vacuum. There's always a reason.

Many times, that reason might be the fact that people have different experiences on different social networks. They also may have different attitudes or beliefs about social media.

Your competition is never who you think it is on social media. Your competition is a post from world leaders. It's a new baby or engagement announcement. It's whatever gorgeous influencer photos might be trending.

When a social media marketer shares content, he or she is responsible to an extent for how that content is received. It's a responsibility I take seriously.

So, to have the best performing content that I can, doesn't it make sense to get in the minds of my audience and find out how they interact with content on these channels?

Is it any wonder that given the nature of Twitter's platform and negativity that many brands are pursuing more humor on that platform?

If half of your audience has an unhealthy relationship with social media, do you want to add to their grief by serving them content they neither need nor want?

It's these questions that keep social media marketers up at night.

But for your average user, they're not thinking about these types of things. They're concerned with how much time their children spend in front of screens, why Aunt Sue decided to block them, the strange person who just slid into their DMs, or the negative comment someone made under a friend's photo.

And sandwiched between these concerns are marketing messages they scroll past, consuming content at breakneck speed.

Usefulness, utility, connection, inspiration: these are qualities that make up social media health. If marketing content doesn't align with these qualities, messages will get tuned out quickly.

That's why I'm concerned with people's attitudes towards social media.

As a marketer, these attitudes mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful content.

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