Do you leave your time on social media drained and feeling some kind of way? Well, you can’t just ditch your phone. Social media is here to stay, so it’s important to find balance with your physical and virtual lives.
One of the best things for self-love is to purge your social media of unnecessary people. While this may sound harsh, trees purge leaves, your pets shed fur, and even your body sheds dead skin. So if your social media feed is looking a little cluttered and leaving you feeling bogged down, it’s time to bid some electronic farewells to 7 types of people from your online life.
1. The Ex People
Ex is just a letter and a slight rearrangement away from being ‘axe’. I think there is something to be said about cutting social media ties with people who you cut physical and emotional ties with. There is a reason you call them an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-bestie, or ex-business partner. Whoever the ex is, bid them adieu. Clinical psychologist Suzana Flores knows the impact of lingering relationships on social media, telling Bustle in 2015:
“Seventy percent of people stalk their exes on social media,” says Flores, author of “Facehooked: How Facebook Affects Our Emotions, Relationships, and Our Lives.”
It’s not always necessary to unfriend and unfollow your exes, but if your social media use has you acting like a stalker or feeling stalked by an ex, you need to cut the online cords.
One of the main messages I share with love coaching clients is to protect their energy. Your energy is impacted by what you see, hear, touch, smell or feel. That means anyone, from an old high school friend or cranky distant relative to a beauty influencer or celebrity, can impact your energy. And if you don’t make you feel good about yourself and lift you up, cut them off.
Several studies have found the benefits of creating positive social media environments. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found anxiety and depression more prevalent in social media users who had negative interactions on social media, and less common in users who had “positive interactions, social support, and social connectedness” on social media. If you ever find yourself feeling worse about yourself or your life because of someone you are following on social media, unfriend them immediately.
3. The Pity Party People
I would never tell someone to hold it in when they are going through a struggle. Everyone has the right to complain when they are going through a rough patch. But anyone who is constantly complaining — and doing so on social media of all places — can bring you down with them. You know the one—the friend who is always complaining, always posting cryptic updates that beg for attention, and always has a pessimistic outlook on life. If you feel they really need help then reach out, but if it is all too often, rethink the connection.
4. The Judgmental People
You have the absolute right to live your life any way you choose. So no one deserves to feel judged by others for being who they are and living the way they choose. If someone is constantly subtweeting your actions or blatantly commenting on your posts to condemn your choices, don’t be afraid to hit that unfriend button.
Social media was created to be fun and carefree, giving people a chance to share stories, pictures and life events. So it is not healthy to follow people who post 500-word statuses lecturing followers about any given subject. If you find yourself constantly annoyed by a particular friend’s rants, don’t feel bad about saying buh-bye. Eliminate all people whose posts make you feel like you’re back in grade school being lectured by your parents. Cut ties and your feed will feel much lighter.
6. The Braggers
The person who constantly feels the need to alert others of their accomplishments is almost as bad as the person constantly complaining about their life. While you can be happy for others without comparing yourself to them, it can be hard at times – especially when their accomplishments are all you see while scrolling through your feed.
Another reason to let them go is that braggers have little to no limits. From their child singing an off-pitched song and making thru bad traffic to fixing the perfect bacon, egg, and cheese bagel for breakfast, braggers will feel empty without sharing everything online. This type of person floods your social media feed with unnecessary posts that you probably do not care about. If you want to make sure you only get the good stuff on your timeline, you know what to do. Snip. Snip.
7. The Unknowns or Obsoletes
We should “spring clean” our social media feeds the same way we “spring clean” our houses. Get rid of (or simply mute) anyone you have to scratch your head to remember when their name pops up on your newsfeed. You probably haven’t talked to this person since elementary school. Or they live in New Mexico, but you met through a mutual friend. You haven’t seen them in years … if you ever met them to begin with.
While we live in an age of hyperconnectivity, it can be a toss-up on whether those connections will be positive or unnecessary and don’t serve us very well. Don’t recognize a name in your list of Facebook friends? Maybe you should cut the (virtual) cord.
For the people you simply aren’t close with anymore — an old co-worker, a former college professor or a neighbour from your childhood — don’t feel guilty about removing them from social media. Making space can make more room in your feed for people you’re close with, which is a more rewarding way to use your time on social media.