Steven Verdile, Design Editor

There’s nothing more satisfying than checking your latest post to see the likes climbing up and the comments rolling in. Retweets and shares are valued so highly that businesses trade them like stocks, and follower counts are the quickest way to elevate someone’s social status.

We can all agree that the power of social media can be terrifying and stressful. Therefore, we should all take a step back to see how it affects us.

One of the most common ways that social media creates stress is known as “FOMO,” or the “fear of missing out.” People are incentivized to post the most exciting and glamorous moments of their lives, which accumulates in your feed as a series of awesome things that you were a part of. Spending your Friday night watching “Cake Boss” reruns and eating chex mix seems like a fun time, until you realize that your friends are busy without you at six different concerts, four house parties, a basketball game, a karaoke night and a fancy dinner party. In reality, it’s unrealistic to be as busy as your profile makes you seem.

Another stress-producing trend is the importance of social media in pursuing a job. As a student in a creative field, I have multiple social profiles listed on my resume, and while not all industries insist on great social content, every employer will be checking your account for red flags. Finding a balance between personal and professional can be tricky, but you shouldn’t stress yourself over posting silly messages or social photos.

If this article has stressed you out so far… oops. Have no fear; yours truly has come up with some tips to minimize the social media related stress in your life.

Follow the people who you care about, and unfollow the people you don’t. It seems simple, but if you’re following a three-digit number of people, it’s unlikely that you genuinely want to see each of those people’s posts. Cutting back will let you see your real friends posts more often, and will reduce the time it takes to read your feed.

Another tip is to avoid reactionary activity. People will inevitably say dumb things that irritate you, and as strongly as you may feel about these incidents, the comment section on a Facebook posts is not the healthiest platform to personally vent your political discontent.

Most importantly, these apps are supposed to be fun, so enjoy them!

Post what you want to post, not what others want to see, and don’t compare “likes” and “favorites.” Social media is really whatever you make of it, so use that flexibility to make it into exactly what you want it to be.