27 May The Power Of The Unfollow Button | My Social Media Cleanse
I don’t know about you, but it sometimes feels as if I live my life through other people and their social media accounts.
It’s a sad fact that so many of us (myself included) spend most of our day with our heads down – swiping, double-tapping and clicking – instead of engaging with the real world. A world of unfiltered frames, authentic experiences and sensory overloads.
Photography: Joey London
Now you may be thinking, “what is this guy on about… he works online and is very much a contributor to the lifestyle that he berates.” Yes, that is true, but I’m also a consumer of this culture and see the affect that it has on us and our relationships with others.
Last week I had the realisation that I was following people that made me feel bad about myself – like my life was less exciting, less glamorous and ultimately less fulfilling. It was at this point that I said “goodbye” to their photoshopped personas and “hello” to a clearer mind. I hit the unfollow button.
I wasn’t following them because I was engaged and interested, I felt that I had an obligation to follow – part voyeurism and part of a desire to compete. I wanted to see how my life compared to theirs.
But what good was that doing and how was it affecting me? Well, it wasn’t doing any good and it was having a negative impact on the things that are important to me: being yourself; inspiring others; and supporting other people in their endeavours.
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Now don’t get me wrong, there are loads of inspiring people online. People who post the most gorgeous pictures and videos of the lives they lead and the worlds they live in. These people have substance, they have heart and they are genuinely very engaging.
They care less about likes and follows and more about sharing their world with the people that care. They are inspiring, motivating and definitely worth a follow.
One week on from my social cleanse and I honestly feel like a different person. My feeds are clear of identikit content and are now a home to a world of creativity. I feel lighter, brighter and more inspired.
So if social media is your world, I recommend that you create the best possible environment that you can. Ditch the negative and bring in the positive – you’re more than just a follower.