Health / Mental well-being

GG Mason: Staying Healthy on Social Media

Take 5 for You

Five minutes can make a big difference.

Social media can sometimes have a negative effect on us. That happened to GG Mason, an Olympic gold medalist from Rhode Island who uses social media to stay in touch with family, friends, and her bowling community. Her tips can help teens and parents (and really, all of us) keep things in perspective:

Connect with people and groups that matter to you.

This might mean staying in touch with family and friends or participating in groups related to your interests. GG uses social media to encourage kids and teens to try the sport of bowling and to share her passion for the game.

Remember that people are only showing you what they want you to see.

Sometimes seeing posts on social media can make you feel like you’re missing out or being left out—or that other people have more fun, exciting lives. Be aware that what people post may not represent their real lives, and take a break from social media if it is bringing you down.

Talk about social media as a family.

GG changed the way she approached social media after talking with her parents about the stress of posting several times a day. Her parents encouraged her to stop posting at times and on topics that she thought people would be interested in and just be herself. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents talk with their kids often about social media, such as asking what kids like about these platforms and if they’ve seen anything concerning.

Make sure to spend time doing other things you like.

When you spend a lot of time on social media, it’s taking time away from other things you could be enjoying, such as spending time with friends, playing sports, or participating in activities such as painting or theater. GG enjoys social media, but prioritizes the in-person activities (like bowling!) that she’s passionate about.