Social media is pretty awesome, hey? It’s pretty hard to find a person under 50 who isn’t on at least one platform (there are plenty of the over 50s are on it too!) – Facebook being one of the most common, amongst my followers anyway. It connects you to people from all over the world and helps you keep track of people you’ve known at different stages in your life but don’t necessarily keep in contact with.
You can celebrate people’s engagement announcements, wedding photos, births of their children along with them without having to do very much at all. All these moments – highlights really – of people’s lives are broadcast around the world daily for us to read and know all about. While this can sometimes be great, it can also be a bit of a curse, I think.
A big part of the problem is that it really is only a very small window into people’s lives and it, for the most part, really is just the highlights. We are always just exposed to those details that people are willing to share in the public domain.
The mundane details and lowlights of people’s lives are almost never shared. If they are they are often shared with great drama and seen as attention seeking. And here we sit, comparing ourselves and our own lives to the highlights reel of somebody else’s life. Can you see how that might not be great for our sense of worth and confidence?
If particular people are making you feel especially bad about yourself and your life, but you feel uneasy about unfriending them (you don’t necessarily fundamentally dislike them!), a great trick that I use all the time is unfollowing people on Facebook. Simply click on their profile, hover over the “following” button and click “unfollow”. This way you will remain friends but you will have to go to their profile to see their updates rather than having them pop up in your feed.
It’s always felt like a good idea to get things that make you feel badly about yourself or your life right out of your newsfeed using the tools available. This sets you up to have a more positive experience on social media from the get-go. There will always be these types of posts popping up though so it’s really important to remember, when you feel like everyone’s life is sooooo much better than yours, you’re only seeing a very small glimpse into their reality. It’s not the whole picture. Your whole picture versus a tiny window is just not a fair comparison to make.
I will be back over the next couple of weeks with some other Facebook decluttering help to make your social media experience more positive – feeling down on yourself isn’t ever fun and won’t help you move forward into a more positive headspace. If it would make you feel better to not see someone else’s overly positive or overly negative posts all the time, there is absolutely no harm in unfollowing them.