Having a tidy and organized home is, as you know, an ongoing process. The things in your home change, things are donated, thrown away, replaced (or not), and it will probably always be a work in progress. However, do you ever think about cleaning your social media “homes”? Many of us spend time on platforms online, engaging, reading, interacting and posting. However, there are times when you might want to think about changing things. How much is too much or too little? A cleaner social media can do wonders for you, even if you don’t spend much time there at all. Following certain pages on Facebook can be a great way to tailor your daily browsing to suit your own personal interests. I joined a group about a particular interest a few years ago, and the content was interesting and the community light and fun. Then, a few months ago, the type of member seemed to change and a lot of really negative things were posted. The admin wouldn’t do anything about it. Instead of lamenting about it, I unfollowed the group. Problem solved. Things change, people change; so should your social media if it affects you.
Favorite sites for me are the ones that load up when I open my browser. I’ve kept many of them over the years, such as the weather, a favorite news site, my blog and a few other choices when I first boot up in the morning. When things started getting really upsetting in the world (more so than normal I suppose) I realized that my favorite news tabs had become a source of morning stress. Instead, starting today, I am loading up things in the morning that inspire and motivate me and leaving the sites that upset me on the back burner. I’m starting off my days in a better frame of mind and you can too!
While I don’t visit it as much as before, Pinterest was a place I went to that would give me a place to load my creative ideas for later. Then, I realized that I had so many things in there, that I couldn’t focus on any one thing. I cleaned out all the things I knew I wasn’t going to get to for many reasons: Supplies too expensive, a change in my interest, or having even completed some of them. A blank slate wound up being more inspiring than 75 things I probably wouldn’t get to.
On Twitter, I follow a lot of my local and state officials to give me information about the things going on my area. Things like local road closures, accidents, weather, statewide information and the like were news I was always interested in. Then, when things changed with the COVID-19 pandemic, these accounts provided information about things like stay at home orders, mandatory laws and other issues that brought about a lot of arguing and dissent in the comments. It became very stressful. I unfollowed those accounts. Maybe in the future I will follow them again, but removing them and replacing them with other interests (with my taste in mind) like NASA, sewing, music and other topics that bring me happiness and pleasure is rewarding.
Scrolling past and not commenting; who knew we could do this! There are always going to be things I see that could be upsetting. A fun group dedicated to say, cat fans, could have an upsetting post by a member who lost a pet. Maybe I read a comment by someone who says “No one wants to read that here!”. Sure, maybe not a nice thing to say, but it’s not MY responsibility to comment. I have options. I can scroll past, report the post if it’s offensive or just ignore it. Allowing the stress and opinions of others to affect me just isn’t an option anymore. It’s not good for my mental health.
Actually Listen to My Own Advice for Once
Following my own advice! For a long time, I’ve taught my children the importance of choosing quality over quantity. I always tell them that what they read, listen to, watch and discuss will have an overall affect on their mental health and well-being. If I surround myself with negative stories and other stressful things, it will spill over into my thoughts and prevent me from having a good day. Watch meaningful programs, interact with groups and things that make you laugh, smile and help you learn.
Branch Out and Bloom
Broaden your online horizons. Looking at the same sites and groups day in and out gets boring. If you start your day with the news, maybe dedicate one day a week to finding a new thing to read about online. With the current world situation, there are lots of museums and other international destinations sharing content online to bring us all closer while we’re inside staying safe.
Gamers Gonna Game
Play a game. If you’re an old school gamer like me, you can find all the old arcade classics from the 70s and 80s online for free. Maybe you like crossword puzzles, word finds or other interesting games. Just do a random search for online games and see what comes up. You might find something fun.
Unfollowing is one thing, but unfriending is another. I’ve written before about the concept of “friends” on a place like Facebook. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should really applies for me here when it comes to remaining friends with someone. Just like the times, people change. Sometimes you learn something about someone you didn’t expect. You don’t have to stay; you can just walk away. You don’t need to argue or fight about it…just leave. If you are unsure about it, you can unfollow the person and take a break. Recently, I’ve unfollowed several people who have upset me (we’ll just leave it at that; better that way!) and have unfriended a few that warranted it. If these people are truly friends, they will remain friends. What’s that old saying, “If you love someone set them free; if they don’t come back it wasn’t mean to be”? I’m sure I’m paraphrasing at best, but that’s pretty applicable.
Number Ten in a Non-Exhaustive List
Number ten and the most important one to me. While, yes, this post was about social media and ways I’ve come up with to make the most of my experience, the most important thing I’ve learned is just walk away. Those hobbies I just mentioned before? That’s what I’m doing. Finding balance, seeking out quality all around me, engaging with those who mean a lot to me, involving myself in tasks and other things that bring me joy, and bring joy to others are all a part of that balance.
Whatever you do today, however you spend your time and with whom, I hope you find something that brings you joy, peace and happiness. I know that’s my goal and I’m not going back to the way it was; it’s calm and peaceful here.