Why I Cleaned Out My Social Media Feed (And Why You Should Too!)

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social media feed

What are the first 5 things you do when you wake up every day? It might go something like this…

  1. Yawn & stretch your arms
  2. Reach for your phone to snooze the alarm
  3. Open, check, and potentially scroll weather/email/Instagram/Facebook
  4. Roll out of bed
  5. Brush your teeth

With muscle memory in full effect for most of us, it takes effort to pick up the phone just to shut off the alarm and put it back down without instantly navigating what we ‘missed’ overnight on our social media feed.

Maybe we shouldn’t be checking our phones first thing in the morning?

Maybe we should all invest in old school alarm clocks!

Regardless, here we are. Today you’ve already opened the social media feed. You already received a private message from a ‘friend’ you’ve only met once, trying to sell you something. You already ‘liked’ a picture of a girl eight years younger and three sizes smaller than you in beautiful clothes, who you’ve never met. You’ve already felt a pang of ‘jelly’ scrolling through vacations and accomplishments of your other ‘friends’.

Some of these friends you’ve known since high school. You love them, and you genuinely like to see what they’re up to. It helps you feel connected. Let’s keep them.

Some of these ‘friends’ you’ve known since high school, but you were never actually friends. More like acquaintances. Do you interact with them on social media? Or do you just creepily scroll on past posts of their kids? Let these go.

Some of these ‘friends’ you’ve only met once, although you connected well enough to friend each other. In an attempt to forge an IRL (in real life) friendship, you invited them for a playdate, only to be ghosted online. Or maybe there was no attempt at being friends beyond the initial connection and Facebook friend request. Either way, let these go.

Some of these friends are actually your immediate and extended family, living near and far. You like them, and you love them! Or maybe you don’t? But they’re in your blood so let’s keep them.

Some of these ‘friends’ you’ve actually never met. What? You know, the ‘friend’ who shares anywhere from 6-32 mutual friends with you and sends you a friend request. To this day you still aren’t sure why, as they’ve never interacted with you or you with them. Let them go.

Here’s where it gets tough. Some of these friends were your IRL friends once. Maybe for a short time, or maybe for a long time. You fell out of touch, yet you’re still connected on social media. Are these friends adding goodness to your life? Do they interact with your comments on their posts? Or do they ghost you? Do you even care to interact with them? Evaluate these and let some go! Keep only the ones that still make your heart smile.

Maybe you have a frenemy. These can be tricky to just ‘unfriend’. Ugh. No need to stir the pot by unfriending someone you’ll still have to see on a regular basis. Thank you, Facebook for the mute button. Or the unfollow button on Facebook works wonders too (this way you don’t have to unfriend them, and they won’t show up in your feed!) If you feel any sort of negative way just by seeing their posts – get them out of your feed using any and all other methods possible!

The point is, your social media should be a safe emotional space. One that gives you inspiration and positive energy, rather than one that makes you question your worth and triggers insecurity.

Social media has become invasive. It is part of how most of us breathe (ick). Why start your day paying attention to the lives of people who don’t care about you? Who don’t give thought to your existence? Why allow any room for negative feelings produced by something someone posted on social media?

In hindsight, the blackout day was a great day! You probably accomplished a lot more that day than you have in quite a while. You probably felt better too. Would it be so bad if social media just went away and we had no choice but to move on from it? While we could all use a break from the madness, the fact is it’s here and we use it. If we use it, we are prone to see what people want us to see. And while all the world is out there to see, we can choose. We can choose to let go of negative vibes on our feeds. We can choose to let go of ‘friends’ who are not actually our friends! How silly to spend our waking life letting these things suck up our time, energy, and space. You. Can. Choose.

How does it make you feel when you see ‘friends’ out doing things, but you weren’t invited?

How it makes you feel when people are constantly gloating about their accomplishments? Have you yet to achieve yours?

How does it feel when you want to share something, but you’re worried you might be judged?

How about when you open your feed and see thread after thread of arguments in your Facebook groups?

Oh, and political posts! Need I say more?

I would venture to guess ¼ to ½ of your friends on Facebook aren’t actually your real life friends. Maybe you were friends once upon a time and haven’t seen each other in years, and probably will never see them again. It’s not natural to keep up with this stuff. I may be in my mid-thirties now, but that doesn’t mean I want to buy your random miracle cream! Has anyone noticed the before and after pictures are ALWAYS under different lighting and circumstances? There is no cream that can wipe away years of smiles, frowns, and furrowed brows. Only Photoshop for the book of faces can create this kind of illusion.

social media feed

My own personal test

I did a test on some of these ‘friends’ recently. I engaged with their posts. Shocking right?! Guess what. Crickets. They didn’t care enough to hit the like comment button or reply. Why are you in my feed? I’m thankful for any purpose or affect you once had on my life, but now you’ve got to go. Thanks, Marie Kondo. Tidying goes much further than your dresser drawers. Not sure about unfriending that ‘friend’ just yet? You can always hit the snooze button on them until you decide. Just put them back in the Rubbermaid bin until you’re ready to think about it again.

In a world of information, how many decisions we need to make per day, it’s important to FILTER what we intake. Just like food, alcohol, medication, anything really, we need to limit our intake to avoid an overdose.

I cleaned my own feed and probably could stand to do it again. I did it to be happier.

Our feeds should be a safe place where we’re genuinely happy to see what’s posted, not feel bad about it. I believe that by tidying our feeds, we will feel lighter, freer, and we will make room for peace, new and different experiences, and new real-life friends.

We have one life to live, let’s not waste it scrolling through junk!