Have you ever been sucked into the black hole of social media? You know what I mean, the mindlessly scrolling, losing focus on your life and instead constantly checking up on others?
A few months ago, I would find myself endlessly scrolling through my Instagram Explore tab. This section of Instagram is supposed to be tailored to you. Posts are curated based on accounts you’ve viewed in the past, repeating hashtags you’ve liked or browsed, and people you may know.
My Explore tab was overflowing with perfect bodies, cheat day meals, diet tips, and honeymoon phase relationship photos. I secretly knew that my opinions of myself were being swayed by these picture perfect lives I was indulging in. I should be … thinner, workout more, working less, and date more. Why can’t I … travel more, eat more, buy more, and be as confident as her.
I recognized that these negative thoughts were only appearing after an Instagram ‘binge’. A shift was necessary. Our lives improve only when we become aware of the actions bringing us down, and then take initiative to make a change.
I realized I didn’t want to give up Instagram completely, just wanted to refresh my past history and trick the system to show me content that would inspire me. So here are the rules I gave myself for my Insta-Cleanse:
- RULE #1: Unfollow those who don’t align with my values & focus on: food, weight loss, fitness, the perfect life
- RULE #2: While scrolling in the Explore Tab: If you see something that you know isn’t beneficial (even though your instinct is to dive deeper into that persons profile) – INSTANTLY press “…” in the upper right hand corner and click “see fewer posts like this”
Doesn’t seem too tough, but I was seriously hesitant to un-follow people at first! Then I saw the quote “do more things that make you forget to check your phone” and I felt relieved. It put in all in perspective for me. Too many good things have happened lately for me to spend so much time & effort comparing myself to others and trying to create a hyper-idealistic version of myself online.
Stepping back and realizing this helped me focus inward. Spend more time reaching out to old friends, people watch in the Starbucks line instead of looking at a screen, appreciate the flowers blooming, cook a yummy meal, and most important – get to know yourself without the constant pressures of influencers and society.