We sat down with social media influencer Jake T. Davidson to discuss the rising discussion about social media in mental health. Jake runs a variety of niche pages, amassing over a million followers in total. During the course of our interview, he provided insight on the topic of mental health from the perspective of a frequent social media user, as well as someone who creates content for a large group of people.

Jake notes “when someone stays on a platform like Instagram for an extended period of time-say, 4 years-they become accustomed to certain digital trends. Unfortunately, not all of those are positive.” Jake began social media on a platform named “Vine,” where he produced original sports edits for over 50,000 followers. The teenager posts content mainly related to sports and technology, managing a large array of Instagram pages.

During the course of his endeavors on social platforms, Jake hasn’t been met with exclusively positive energy. He states “whenever I see a rude comment on my videos, it still offends me to a certain extent. However, I’ve established strategies of blocking out the noise. If I know a post is controversial, I won’t look at the responses. A lot of my posts are simply meant for discussion, but I receive negative energy even though I simply posed the question.”

An example can be found in one of his posts, on which he promotes discussion of the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) conversation. He asks, “LeBron or Jordan?” and receives a plethora of angry comments although he didn’t do anything to warrant a poor reaction. Jake prides himself on his ability to handle criticism, noting “as your numbers climb, the chance of hate increases. Not everyone is going to like your posts, so it’s unreasonable to expect it. I try to focus on the positive comments, those make my day.”

When asked about his advice to other users, he states “it’s important to love yourself. Once you achieve that internal connection with your brain, you’re less vulnerable to outside opinions.” He’s developed a certain awareness to the increasing negativity on social media, which allows him to continue using the platforms. “I’ve always tried to keep my personal life separate from my business life, so that it doesn’t cloud my judgement. At the end of the day, social media is extremely profitable, hence why I continue to use it. However, the severe mental health negations should not be overlooked, and deserve to be acknowledged.”

As Jake continues to grow, he vows to keep his content the same. As someone who has had more banned pages than the average influencer (due to termination of Vine), he’s optimized a universal growth strategy for basketball media pages. His method revolves around a mixture of unique content and viral videos, creating a brand personality while subsequently growing at an exponential rate.

To keep up with Jake, check out his Instagram: @JakeTDV