Why I Decreased the Number of People I Follow on Social Media & Why You Should Too
Two weeks ago, I cut down the amount of people I follow on social media to more than half.
I know that doesn’t sound like such a big deal, but I beg to differ and hope you will too after reading.
Social media is a dangerous sphere. On one hand you can meet cool people who share your interests and build lasting friendships and business relationships. On the other hand, you can literally get sucked into an alternative monstrous reality.
Recently, I’d been experiencing the latter…..
Social Media Stress
For the last few months I’ve gone to bed stressed, depressed, slept really restlessly, and woke up with a headache. What really shocked me was that all the stress caused me to become a nighttime teeth grinder.
My personal life is hectic right now for sure, but the level of stress I’d been feeling felt exaggerated. I am a person who really loves to psychoanalyze situations, so I started to consider my bedtime routine.
What in the world was I doing before bed to made my sleep so nightmarish? Yes, I’ve been stressing about several personal things before hitting the hay, but I knew there had to be more. The root of the problem I soon learned, was social media.
Before bed and even when I woke up restless in the middle of the night, I was clocking mindless hours strolling down timelines on social outlets.
When I concluded social media might be the problem, I decided to take a little break and refresh my mind. I used this time to read, pray, watch inspirational sermons and videos, learn, and clean (which is amazingly therapeutic by the way).
During this time, I kept getting hit in the face with the idea that words have power and the words you take in can and will alter your mind.
Every book, every sermon, everything I read and watched expressed this thought repeatedly. I knew instinctively God was trying to reveal something to me.
Social media is constantly feeding their users (think about the word user. Doesn’t it have a drug culture connotation?).
Whether it is the accomplishments of others or their shortcomings, news stories, celebrity gossip, or just advertisement. Everytime you open a social app, there is something constantly posted that causes emotions to wax and wane.
With the news as terrible as it is now, there is always a cause to get invested in even when it has no value to you. For example, Serena Williams potentially not getting to wear her black cat suit at the French Open is disheartening and yes, I do understand that the efforts behind that rule being enforced is racist and outlandish, but what value is that information truly worth to MY personal soul.
I found that I no longer wanted to go to bed with Trump or Kanye’s latest drama filling up unnecessary space in my mind. I no longer wanted to go to bed with the latest ramblings about Insecure or sad pictures of dogs with the caption “Three thousand Likes and this dog gets a kidney”.
We all know that the person who posted the picture neither knows the dog or is willing to give him or her an appendage (*I’m being silly).
Reclaiming My Time
I decided that if I wanted to come back to social media, I had to play the game to my advantage. I had to limit the sheer amount of people I followed. I had to really curate what I saw from day to day.
As a hard and fast rule, I never have followed or will follow my family, friends, or co-workers because that just keeps our relationships a lot tidier and more personal, so my plunge didn’t leave room for too many hurt feelings.
However, because I do work with a local company quite often thorough social media, there were lots of business connects that I could not delete.
Who Got The Axe and Who Didn’t
After I decided the perimeters, I started to unfollow people to my heart’s content.
I unfollowed all the whiners, the overtly sexual, the naysayers, naggers, braggers, gossip sites, the products, the stores, and any news site that I felt offered only sensational stories.
Now I only follow the art pages (I love art), inspirational quotes pages (I love Goal Cast on Instagram and Facebook ) people that inspire me and the online friends that I have made over the years and love dearly.
Also, I follow Beyoncé (Goals!) because who doesn’t follow Beyoncé?
My timelines are much smaller and I really get to hear from the voices that move and inspire me. I am not constantly taking in drama and carrying it around with me.
I feel a lot lighter and a lot less interested in strolling down social media for hours at a time.
I see what I want, I check on the people I care about, and I’m out.
In summary, words and the human mind have power, lots of power. To succeed mentally, it is important to monitor the things you take in as those things can potentially harm your progression toward a healthy mind and mental excellence.
One of the fastest and most effective ways to do this is by following everyone and everything on social media with a purpose in mind.
Don’t follow negative people and products, follow the people in your life that you love, then make sure that everyone else you follow is for your own personal development.
Subconsciously we take everything we read and see into ourselves and carry it around with us accordingly. Positive things like Goal Cast or Ted Talks can uplift us and inspire. Negativity like Trump antics or that one follower who is constantly verbalizing their day to day struggles, can drain and stress the mind beyond measure.
Try this exercise and see just how much easier you sleep, and how peaceful you feel after a social media stroll.
Are you willing to reduce the amount of people you follow on social media for the sake of your peace of mind? Comment below using your Facebook profile or WordPress guest or user ID.