You wake up, grab your phone, start scrolling through Instagram and Facebook and what do you see? Friends travelling the world, others getting married, some buying their first house and others posting gym selfies.
Everyone else seems to have much more exciting things going on in their lives than you, right? I mean, you gotta crawl out of bed and leave your tiny flat for your average job. And chances are you are going to repeat this the next day, too.
I’m guessing that you follow a lot of social media accounts. Some motivate and inspire you while others leave you feeling a little empty and worthless. We don’t realize just how damaging this can be to our state of mind.
Its no wonder you spend the rest of your day wondering what the hell you are doing with your life and why you aren’t spending your days lazying on the beach in the Maldives.
Whether we like it or not, social media is now a massive part of our lives. As much as I would love to tell you to delete all your apps and disable all your accounts, that is unrealistic. I still wish that I spent less time on my phone, as shockingly reported by the Telegraph, on average we are spending an entire day out of the week looking at our screens, and I am not okay with that.
What is in our control though, is what we choose to have on our feed. Believe it or not, we don’t have to look at posts that make us feel bad! We can actually scroll through images and status updates that make us feel good. I know, crazy right?
This is what you need to do:
Dedicate some time, periodically, to go through who you follow and befriend on your social accounts and ask yourself “are these people adding value to my day? Do they make me feel good?” if the answer is no, then hit the unfollow button. And be ruthless. If your second cousin twice removed is going to give you the stink eye at the next family gathering for unfollowing her, so what. You have to live with your state of mind everyday, not her.
The next step is to find accounts that do make you feel good. A fantastic piece written by Flic Taylor on medium.com summed it up so well. Taylor says imagine walking into a room full of everyone you follow. Who would you go up to and chat with? Who would make you laugh and smile? These are the ones to follow. The ones you tend to avoid, just get rid of them.
Follow accounts that motivate and inspire you, that make you laugh and smile. Follow accounts based around your interests and hobbies. For example I like abstract art, so I follow a lot of artists. You want to feel uplifted and inspired, not unhappy and distressed.
And don’t just delete old friends from primary school or that dude from finance you worked with three jobs ago. And I don’t just mean people, either. I mean brands and celebrities too. Any account promoting an idealistic way of life. It can even be someone you know from gym who, according to his IG story, spends all his time drinking protein shakes and lifting weights.
You probably wont notice any difference initially as the results aren’t obvious, but looking back you will be so grateful you did it. I am recovering from an eating disorder so removing food related accounts was a decision I had to make. It was surprisingly tough to do, but I am so happy I did it. My feed is no longer flooded with images of “the perfect diet” and this has been so liberating.
So go on, click unfollow to free up some heads pace and fill that space with constructively. The control is, quite literally, in your hands.