Originally titled ‘When You Want to Unfollow Everyone You Know IRL in Favour of Someone That Inspires You’ but I guess that got too wordy, I can’t help myself sometimes.
In the age of social media, we follow numerous people that fascinate us and interest us; actors, models, musicians, bloggers, entrepreneurs, household named brands, whether to feed our obsessions with material goods, or to inspire us to work harder or to make a change. However, with that we also feel compelled and coerced to connect with, and follow, those we know; friends, family, acquaintances. We may love them a whole lot (or may barely know them and feel we have to connect with them out of IRL obligations), but their content is what we’re already bombarded with on Facebook and we don’t need to see the same picture on every single social media page we have – unless you’re trying to promote and brand yourself, then you do you hun and good luck to you!
I find I have so many contacts on my feeds and, whilst I may like that person, I’m at a point in my life that all I want to see is stimulating and inspiring content – I’m not really that bothered about seeing pictures of your kids or dogs (no matter how cute they both are) unless its on Facebook. I expect to see it there.
After a grand clear out of my Instagram following list over the past year – where I unfollowed a few hundred people – I began to actually see my feed again, I saw posts from people I hadn’t seen on my feed for years, and yes, that came at the cost of unfollowing some people I do know. Just because we were friends in high school, or I worked with you once, doesn’t mean I have to connect with you on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Bebo, Myspace, MSN, AIM and every social account from the beginning of social media.
I’n all honesty, seeing the smug faces of my peers my age with their engagements rings, and dogs and homes and their I got my s*** together sooner than you lifestyle is winding me up because I’m not there yet. I’m really happy for you all, but I can’t keep seeing it every time I refresh my feed. So if I unfollow you, please know it’s nothing personal, I’m just going through my own issues and things, and seeing it constantly is really affecting me mentally.
There’s still a long way for me to personally go to really cull my feeds and unfollow who I want to, some family and close friends have to stay, it’s kind of a given, they wouldn’t understand and I’m not ready to piss everyone off. But I have this need to feel inspired, to give my own creativity that push, so curating the content I consume is what I need to do to feed my mind, to provide the brain food I need to carry on.
What I’m trying to say is, of course be mindful and don’t start any family feuds, don’t break up your friendship groups and be as lonely as Miss Haversham, but do be responsible for your own mental health, if there’s negativity on your social media that bothers you, click the delete or the unfollow button. If Aunt Sally and a drifting best friend are getting on your last nerve, give them a cyber wave and say au revoir.
I’ve had my say, now I’m off to see if I can afford to unfollow anyone else and find the urge to keep creating amidst the thumb scrolls of my social feeds.