Let’s Talk: Why I Chose to Unfollow You
Maybe you’re like me.
I recently realized a big portion of the people I was following on Instagram were people that I maybe shouldn’t have been. Not that those people had done anything inherently bad or unfavorable at all, but I realized all of the comparing, judging, and self-deprecating that was going on as I’d scroll on through my newsfeed was unnecessary and self-inflicted. Why was I doing this to myself? It’s not like anyone was shoving these people down my throat — and yet — that’s how it felt. Every day I’d wake up, reach over the side of the bed to look at my phone, only to compare myself or be inundated with content that screamed “you need this!!! and this! What you have isn’t enough!”, and then I’d spend the whole day trying to forget about it.
A few months ago I read an article online where one of the Instagram founders was being interviewed about Instagram’s original purpose in having the “following” feed. He stated that originally, the “follow” tabs and feeds were created so that people could follow beautiful, creative or inspiring accounts that opened the world up to everyone that wished to seek more of it. As I mulled over his words in my mind, I started to reflect on the people that I had recently chosen to follow. Why is it that, every time these new follows would pop up on my feed, my heart would sink and I would be left with a feeling of emptiness? And, if that was the case, was that the case with everyone?
I started looking through the people that I was following. I realized a few things, and maybe you will too if you try this:
- Following accounts like National Geographic or anything that is educational, artistic or inspiring will most likely NOT leave you feeling dull or sad.
- You might notice that many of the people you follow are “popular” but is that enough? Does following their feed bring you joy? Or is it simply trendy-but-soul-sucking?
- You might notice that a lot of the people you follow you follow because you admire them, however this can be in a non-constructive way. In a self-sabotaging-omg-lookatherlife-herclothes-herbody-herlips- way. You follow not because that person lives a life that is inspiring or achievable to YOU, but because it’s sick and fun to bash yourself.
- You’ll also find that some people you follow ARE truly inspirational. They’re the people you admire, you respect — for me, they’re the people that are creating beauty and happiness in and around their lives, which is an inspiration to me. These are good accounts to follow, in that case.
- By simply looking at my feed in a more selective, I-can-choose-my-destiny type way, I actually allowed myself the room to become inspired in SO many other ways! A chef? Yes! A farm lady from Idaho? Yes! A student from San Francisco with a fantastic eye, yes!
- By de-cluttering your feed, you can actually make more room for what is GOOD. And it does have a much better impact on your mind and soul.
With that said, I know that there are so many other important keys to happiness in this life. However, whether big or small to you, this is an important topic to talk about. Because as much as we wish social media didn’t influence or affect our lives — it does! And we become what we surround ourselves with. Luckily, there IS one way that we can bring a little more goodness into our lives. All you need to do is this :
1. Go onto you Instagram newsfeed or “following” tab.
2. Notice how each post makes you feel.
3. Question why you follow that person, and if their content is constructive to your life.
4. If their content is positive and constructive, keep following. If not, unfollow.
5. Notice how much unnecessary internet-junk you sorted out! Now there’s more room for beauty and inspiration.
6. Keep repeating 1-5 when necessary.
So maybe you’re like me, and this will “cleanse” your social media experience. And maybe, just maybe, It will make you a whole lot happier too.
And that’s why I chose to unfollow you. (But you’re probably great.)