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Suni Lee's parents, social media expert offer advice after gymnast says social media led to bronze-medal performance

According to social media experts, it's not just Suni Lee who's feeling the pressure. "Suni Lee is not alone, it's a very real thing,"

ST PAUL, Minn. — Three time Olympic medalist Suni Lee is a star on and off social media.

The St. Paul native and gymnast for Team USA has more than 1.4 million followers on Instagram and more than 148, 000 followers on Twitter.

But after taking home a bronze medal for her performance on the uneven bars, Suni says she's taking a break from social media.

Lee, who considers the bars her strong point, says social media may have been a distraction.

"One thing I learned from this is that the media, the social, everything is crazy because you know you hear a lot of positive things, but you also get a lot of negatives," said Houa John Lee, Suni's father.

But according to social media experts, it's not just Suni Lee who's feeling the pressure. 

"Suni Lee is not alone, it's a very real thing," said Ava Beilke, a Minneapolis based social media coach.

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Beilke says it's important to set boundaries. "Look, the social media platforms, they want to keep us in their apps, so that is how they keep us in there, they want us entertained, based on how the apps works it's easy to get sucked in," said Beilke.

Beilke says the first step is to be mindful of your purpose for using the apps.

"As hard as it is, I really encourage people to not open social media apps until after breakfast or later," said Beilke. "Another thing I suggest is turning off app notifications."

While Suni Lee's mother is offering advice for her daughter from miles away. "You don't have to pressure yourself to work even harder because you are already a hardworking person," said Lee's mother, Yeev Thoj.

Social media experts like Beilke say it's important to navigate social media responsibly to protect your mental health. 

"I love to remind people that social media was created with a good intention," said Beilke. "Keeping that in the back of your mind and knowing that it can be a benefit."

To learn more about ways to navigate social media, visit Ava Beilke's website here.

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