Is It Time for a Social Detox?
By Iona Brannon
The summer brings warm sunny days, fresh starts and often, a change in outlook. The sun is out and positivity seems to radiate through its rays. It’s a time to embrace the beauty and warmth of life, tossing out the obsolete to make room for better things. If you’re feeling stuck in a rut of negativity or creative stagnation, what better time to embark on a social media detox?
Silently integrated into the daily life of most people, social media is often the first thing we’re exposed to in the morning and the last bit of information we receive at night. Social media is a powerful tool, connecting and inspiring people to live more free, creative lives. Sometimes, though, it’s easy to feel isolated and discouraged after a few minutes of scrolling.
If you find yourself depleted, upset or discontent, take a deeper look into who’s making it into your feed. Unfollowing people may not be easy, but these three reasons will help remind you of some truths to keep in mind.
1. It’ll Help Prioritize Time
Your time is your most precious commodity. If part of your daily routine is scrolling from feed to feed, you can cut out valuable time by unfollowing those who aren’t inspiring or encouraging. Even though social media sites have incorporated algorithms to help curate what you see, it’s not uncommon to miss important posts from those you care about. Try narrowing down the people you follow. Not only will it give you a better chance to see those posts, but it’ll also help for those times when you feel oversaturated with information.
2. Jealousy Isn’t Cute
Nothing puts a damper on a Monday morning quite like scrolling past a photo of “Mean-girl Monica” drinking champagne on a balcony in Monaco. Somehow your cozy nook of an apartment and 9-to-5 job don’t seem as satisfying anymore. Do you still follow people you can’t stand? Does it feel like an endless cycle of comparison? Competing against others over a better-looking life is an impossible game that has no winner. It simply drains emotional energy and allows for discontentment and jealousy to fester. Jealousy, an ugly disease, can quickly steal your gratitude and joy in life. Don’t give it any room to grow, cut those ties. Trust us, you’ll breathe easier.
3. You’ve Changed
With all the changes that occur every year, it’s important to recognize how dynamic your own personal growth can be. Your interests, your sense of fashion and maybe even your music tastes have changed. Your feed should reflect that. Maybe you have even moved on from people. Relationships, be they platonic or romantic, can grow apart as priorities shift and people change. Continuing to follow past friends you no longer invest time into can be a band-aid to the reality of the situation.
Take that final step, recognize the relationship is over, and let it go.
So how do we bring ourselves back to how we once felt, empowered and uplifted?
Focus on staying in tune with your own feelings. Ask yourself some questions. How does it make you feel? Are you inspired by the content? Does it stimulate your creativity? Is it relevant to your current interests? Consider the quality of what you’re seeing. Is the account merely a display of achievements? Being aware of how your feed impacts your mood can help you operate at your healthiest. If you feel guilty for unfollowing someone, try to remember that the real relationship isn’t based on social media. Don’t let guilty feelings keep you from going through your own process of self-care.
Social media is unavoidable for most, but an awareness of its power can allow us to harness it for good. It can be long and tedious to undergo a detox but, intentionally curating the content you are exposed to can transform your life. You deserve a feed that challenges you and encourages you to think outside the box.
Now keep in mind as you go on your journey toward a feel-good, inspiring feed that you may not be the only one. Don’t hold it against others if you find yourself unfollowed; perhaps they’re doing a deep clean of their own.
Iona Brannon is the editorial assistant and side-brain at MAED. With a background in journalism, she enjoys sitting in L.A. traffic and occasionally yelling at other drivers.