Often times I see headlines reading “Social Media Cleanse” or “Unplug For 24 Hours!” and never once have I thought “oh you’re right I should do that”. Personally, I enjoy being connected. I enjoy scrolling through Twitter, Instagram or just websites in general and seeing what not only my friends are up to or are thinking but seeing what celebrities and other accounts I follow. I mean why else would I follow them on social media? I guess what I’m trying to say is, I am not ashamed to say I actually enjoy social media. Maybe it’s because I have grown up with it for the most part but maybe it’s because I don’t abuse it.
Social media to me has never been a source of stress or any sort of an addiction. I just go on my phone when I’m bored or when I have some down time and want to get my mind off of my own life. I really don’t see a problem with that, I understand how it could definitely get out of hand quickly. But I like to think that the way I use social media is not detrimental to my mental health. When I’m having a bad day or feel overwhelmed, I look forward to being able to escape for a little while and look at what other people are up to. Also, I enjoy being able to see what my friends are posting and saying on their profiles as well. I feel more connected to them this way.
When I graduated high school, a few of my friends had said they were probably going to unfollow most people we went to high school with. It makes sense, if you really don’t care what they’re up to or plan on keeping up with them then why clog up your feed with it? I didn’t feel the need to unfollow people so I didn’t at first.
Slowly over the past three years of being out of high school I have unfollowed people here and there. I’ll see an offensive tweet or something I don’t agree with, realize who tweeted it and then think “okay guess I can unfollow them now.” almost as if I was looking for a reason to unfollow people. Like I needed a reason before I felt it was okay to remove them. When I would scroll through my Snapchat Stories or my Instagram feed I always saw all the girls from high school. Truly, I didn’t care about them. But I think subconsciously, I was body shaming myself and shaming myself for not going out as much as they were. I never really had lasting thoughts about their posts but I knew the 1-5 seconds that the post was on my screen, I was feeling less than great.
I follow a girl on Twitter and Instagram that I used to be friends with on Tumblr years ago. She is an amazing person and had put on her Instagram Story one day something about detoxing her social media. In the sense that she started following more positivity focused pages and self help pages. She also started following pages of things she enjoyed like dogs and art. When I read this post it was like a literal switch flipped in my head. Why don’t I follow more pages that I actually enjoy? Why do I strictly follow people from school and a few celebrities? So I went on the hunt for self help/positivity/fun pages that helped me feel good or helped me get my mind off of my own life for a few seconds without comparing myself to others. I also went through the list of people I followed and unfollowed tons, not everyone from school but a decent amount. Each account I looked at I thought “Do I really need to see what they’re posting?” and if the answer was no, I unfollowed them.
Don’t get me wrong, I still follow people from high school and things like that. But the positivity and enjoyable posts outweigh the number of people I follow from my past. When I go on my social media now, weather it be Snapchat, Instagram or Twitter I am actually enjoying scrolling a lot more and I feel a lot better after I get off of my phone. I didn’t even think or realize I was feeling worse after looking at social media. Honestly, I look forward to the uplifting accounts I follow now, I also follow a lot of artists and creators. It’s very inspiring to go onto your feed and see it flooded with talent and kind words. I recommend this to anyone.
I took a lot of time to find the right pages for myself, I’ll list some Instagram pages below that I enjoy the most. They may not work for you but maybe it will spark an interest or you’ll see a quote you like.