Social media can be a blessing and a curse. It’s never been easier to start your own business or make extra money. We have lots of family in Missouri and it’s wonderful to be able to keep up with their growing families – we get to see snippets of their lives that we wouldn’t normally be privy to. But it can also lead to lots of comparison, harassment, feelings of unworthiness, accidents (looking at you, assholes who Instastory and Snap while driving), and the list goes on. There have even been multiple studies linking social media usage to depression.
I know many of us struggle with negative feelings after a social media binge. How many times have you had a shitty day then fallen down the rabbit hole that’s someone’s Facebook or Instagram (the two forms I use most frequently)? You come in from work, pour a tall glass of wine, and immediately stalk the woman you who was rude to you in high school. Of course, she’s now married to a handsome, rich man, lives in a spotless, well-lit home, and has gorgeous, healthy children. She hasn’t aged a day or gained a pound. She (seemingly) has the perfect life, while you sit in tears on your torn couch, wondering if you should keep your Tinder account and if you have any clean underwear to wear to your shitty job tomorrow.
I realize that scenario is a bit dramatic, but I know I’ve been there. I follow people who infuriate me, too. People I know are garbage but portray this life of sainthood and never-ending happiness and good fortune.
But I think many of us are guilty of this, too. I try to post perfectly curated pictures on Instagram – I spend (a little) time crafting flat lays, worrying about lighting, and editing a photo before it goes live. You won’t see the messy house around it. The piles of laundry. The old, ripped love seat I use to hold up my props. You won’t see me having a bad day. You see what I want you to see.
As I spend more time online, I make myself unfollow the folks who make me miserable. The ones who make me feel inferior. The ones I know are not truthful. The ones who never give you a glimpse of “real life”. The ones who spout hateful political rhetoric. There’s no point in me going on a bashing spree. There’s no point in continuing to follow and interact. I rip off the bandaid and unfriend/unfollow/hide from my life.
We all have such little free time, so, instead of losing your mind over a post, go for a walk. Go on a date with your love. Grab a drink with friends. Call your grandmother. Take a class. Invest in yourself. I do not want to look back on my life and realize that I spent countless hours feeling miserable over Facebook.
Let’s pull the plug, friends. If you spend more time complaining about a social media “friend” than wishing them well, it’s time to let go. Focus that energy elsewhere. Marie Kondo that shit. If someone does not bring you joy, whether it’s a “big” blogger, or a family member, or a friend, or an acquaintance, be done. You cannot control their posts, but you can control how they make you feel. And that gives you the power. Take it back.