Self Care: The New Social Media Trend

Isabella Otero, Staff Writer

Social media was always seen as the downfall of our generation. Our parents would get on us about being on our phones too much and seeming “disconnected” from reality. The term “social media” comes with a negative connotation and has been considered something that can deteriorate our mental health. While an excess of almost anything is bad, just enough exposure and use of various social media applications may actually be beneficial.

Take Tik Tok for example. Tik Tok will push videos onto your feed through an algorithmic technique. This means that they will show you videos they think you will like based on your previous video likes. If you like a bunch of videos that are comical, you will see more comedy videos. If you like educational videos, you will see more videos that have an educational purpose. If you were to go through my Tik Tok likes, you would see videos labeled “self care hacks,” “productive night routine,” “5 ways to improve your mental health,” and “60 second guided meditation.” I, as well as the other users of Tik Tok, have been exposed to these kinds of videos on numerous occasions. The hashtag “#selfcare” on Tik Tok has 8.7 billion views. Likewise, hashtags such as “#mentalhealth,” “#productivity,” and “#selfcaretips” all respectively rake in over 5 billion views. This trend of self-care, mental health awareness, productivity tips, and health conscious choices have taken social media by storm.

Tik Tok is not the only platform that this may be observed on. Instagram is

home to millions of posts urging people to take care of themselves both physically and mentally. When quarantine first began in March of 2020, posts containing tips to beat lockdown stress, workouts to do at home and ways to be more mindful popped up in my feed and my Instagram stories, as well as on the feeds and Instagram stories of my friends. With aesthetically pleasing images as well as supportive language, the self care help on social media is extremely appealing to our generation.

At Villanova, there are plenty of resources at a student’s disposal. Places such as the counseling center are great resources and outlets to take advantage of when struggling with any kind of personal issue. The counseling center has also taken advantage of the appeal of social media to students by modifying their instagram, @vucounselingcenter, to fit that aesthetic and relaxing vibe to self-care and mental health that has been taking over social media. With encouraging quotes, helpful graphics, and educational information presented in a welcoming manner, Villanova has also embraced the use of social media to reach its students in a way that they would be responsive to.

Our generation has always been good at creating new trends, breaking down stigmas, and opening conversations that would otherwise have been uncomfortable a few years prior. By taking something that could potentially be negative or harmful, like social media, and turning it into an outlet that can be used to help people, the conversation of mental health may flow openly and comfortably. It is interesting to observe what new trends come about, as well as observing how they flourish. The self-care trend truly has taken social media by storm, and I hope to see it prosper and continue to reach such a large audience.