Every now and again I sit back and have a look at my various social media accounts. In this day and age most of us have several – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter … you name it. And most of us are most likely following a lot of people too, leading to an abundance of images, tweets or status messages flooding our screen every single day of our lives.
I have made it a habit in the past few months to clean out and declutter my social media accounts every few weeks or so. I delete old posts on facebook, that have no real meaning for me anymore. Most likely things that were posted as some sort of cry for attention, or validation. They served no real purpose at any point and may have felt like a great outlet at the time of me writing them, but now they were nothing more than an annoyance to me.
I also habitually delete or unfollow people. That is not because I don’t like them or anything. In fact, some I may know quite well or I might have gone to school with them or met them through someone. I do this because a lot of times I would have found myself looking at their page and instantly compare myself to them or their situation, wishing I had what they have. I figured, it’s extremely destructive for my own mental health to continue following people that make me feel that way. And understand this, me unfollowing someone has nothing to do with me not liking them, but it has everything to do with me protecting the state of my own mental well-being. I am now very cautious with who I follow and for what reasons. I don’t think it’s good for me, or anyone, to have a feed filled with people that I can’t relate to or that don’t inspire me in some way. In the past I have found myself getting so caught up with other people’s lives that I forgot that I had one too, which should have always been a top priority to me.
Another aspect of social media is that nowadays it is extremely easy to get sucked into this pattern of thinking that we always have to achieve perfection. We have to look like the girls on instagram with the 1 million followers, and we have to go on the most expensive vacations and eat in the fanciest places. We have to take that perfect photo, get the most likes – get that validation one way or another. In reality, all this doesn’t really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. The things we see online are so often only a fraction of what is actually going on in a person’s life. It is extremely easy to get lost in this endless downward spiral of trying to achieve what is deemed to be perfect and I cannot begin to describe how much of a negative effect this can have on a person’s mental health. It gets very easy to believe that you are worth less simply because you don’t have what is portrayed as “the perfect life” or the way things should be.
I have made a point of now only following people who I either connect with in someway or people who inspire me to be better and do better. People who encourage me to think and to question as well as people who affect my mental health in a positive way. I don’t follow people for the sake of doing so, or because I have known them for years, I don’t follow them to get a follow back, it’s not about the numbers for me – it’s never been that. I follow them because I feel like I can truly benefit from doing so. If something or someone turns out to be anything but that I will hit that unfollow button quicker than I could say the word.
Yes, you may think this rude and I get you. But sometimes you have to do things that other people may not like in order to protect your own energy and sanity for that matter. Some people, as much as you may like them, simply aren’t good for you. And it takes a lot of time to be able to understand this and understand the fact that this is absolutely okay.
I enjoy being on social media and connecting with people as much as the next person, but habitually weeding out some of my profiles has helped me focus more on stuff that’s important to me. Like any good clear out in your home, I believe that it is equally important to go through your social media accounts and get rid of what you no longer benefit from.
Think Marie Kondo – Does this spark joy?
Do you benefit from following this person – or do you feel worse after looking at their feed or reading their posts?
Have you ever done a social media clear out? If you haven’t, I’d absolutely recommend doing so! Sometimes you only really see how much a person or source of information is affecting you when you don’t have to look at them on a regular basis.
Let me hear your thoughts!