Social media has become a breeding ground for negativity, and it’s often the first place people announce tragic news. Let’s be honest, some days you just want to decompress. I love a funny cat meme, pictures of my friends’ kids, or aesthetically pleasing snaps of someone’s lunch. On some days — okay, actually most days — I honestly don’t want to see the heavy content. Call me insensitive, but on a busy day when I only have enough mental strength to care for myself and my family, I don’t really want to add any additional stress to my life simply by browsing through my social media. How can I not feel more stressed when I see people arguing about politics or sharing yet another sob story? I know I can’t be the only person who feels this way.
I’ve learned through good ol’ therapy that it is perfectly OKAY and necessary to set boundaries in your life, even on social media. It doesn’t matter if it’s family or a neighbor. If someone is sharing nothing but Debbie Downer news, I will kindly unfollow. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care that other people are going through difficult seasons of life. It just means that I can’t be the best friend or neighbor if I don’t take care of my own mental health first. I think we should normalize unfollowing people without making it a HUGE deal. I didn’t unfriend, I just simply unfollowed, because quite frankly, I don’t want anything but encouragement and positivity on my feed.
Let me pepper in the details that I lost someone whom I loved dearly on Christmas Eve this past year. I listened to his heart stop beating, and I know that I am still grieving, so perhaps in time, I may be fine with seeing my timeline occasionally filled with some “not so great” news. In the meantime, I know the world isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but when I am scrolling through my social media, some days I need it to be.
I’ve become a pro at dodging negativity, and it’s actually done wonders in my life. It’s a newly learned skill. It probably comes from the plethora of self-help audiobooks I’ve indulged in and regular therapy sessions, but if you are feeling burned out, I want to encourage you to check your social media. Who are you following? Who is popping up on your feed multiple times a day? Are they adding positive substance to your life? Or is it a constant reminder of how crappy our world is right now? Just a quick note, for every negative post you see, you have the option to eliminate it from your feed and add or follow more uplifting content. It’s really as simple as that! There are some things in life that are out of our control, but who you follow on social media is something you do have control over. Unfollow. Unfollow the negativity, and do it without a blink of an eye. Life’s too short, and you deserve to scroll through your phone and smile rather than stress.