How strange, you probably came to this blog post through a social media channel of either Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or even Stumbleupon but yet I am suggesting to improve your mental health you SHOULD consider starting to reassess who is in your friends and what you are following. You may think it sounds crazy but in this blog post I will explain why it is vital for a sense of contentment in your life.
Why you should consider to start unfriending on Facebook
Recent studies suggest that overuse of social media in children damages their mental health but I believe that it is also damaging for adults but in slightly different ways. Social media can open gateways for bullying, isolation, jealousy, life comparison and keeping connection to the past amongst other negative traits.
Through our lives we meet many many people, most are just acquaintances and maybe just a handful are true genuine friends so why then do we feel that we must share our entire lives with everyone we have ever met on Facebook? Why do we feel the 1000 people we are ‘friends’ with would really be interested and do you really want to see what they are doing with their lives or share what you are doing in yours?
When the founder of BoM was recovering from his ill mental health a large part of his condition was due to things not working out in his career and relationship. Working hard for a great education , investing a lot of money resulted in a worse quality of life rather than a much improved one!
Seeing those he went to school with on Facebook doing much better in life without such a high level of education and less debt was painful for him to comprehend and reinforced his feelings of failure and depression (I realize this sounds a bit bitter but anyone in a similar situation would have the same the natural reaction when anyone tried so hard for something, investing a lot of time and money without a positive outcome), then it suddenly occurred to him, he hadn’t seen these people in over ten years, they don’t even communicate through social channels so why the hell are they still in his friends list!?
This is when the light bulb went on in his head, it’s time to defriend!
Got over 1000 friends…really? Look closer
So many friends …are they really friends or just people who you have met down the line? How do you feel when you see their news feed update? Does it make you feel good, indifferent or does it bring you down? So why the hell are you still friends!?
Once you get rid of the old school friends you don’t talk to any more next is to get rid of the people who’s news feeds bring you down.
Ok unfriending started but who’s left?
So you’ve got rid of old friends and the people that make you feel worse after reading their updates so who’s next to bite the dust? Next it is to look closely at your ‘family’ friends. It may sound drastic to unfriend your family but it is what the founder did after it occurred to him a lot of his ‘family’ he had maybe seen once or twice at Christmas, a couple of times at funerals, some more often when growing up but mostly he never saw them yet they could see all about his life without even meeting him!
This seemed completely insane that my extended family could see my entire life without actually speaking to me in person and so...I unfriended all the family members that I don’t see often because if family want to know what is happening in my life I would rather see them and speak to them directly than through a third party social media app.
Defriend people connected to negative past
Sometimes in the past you become friends with your ex’s friends or family and they stay friends on social channels but is that wise? Or maybe people that are connected to something that brings you down like a past education that didn’t work out can also make you feel bad as it can conjurer up memories of the time and you just can’t let go.
Holding on to friends from a past relationship that ended or friends from a bad life experience, such as an education that didn’t work, can be bad for your mental health as it reminds you of those times you had as it acts as a constant reminder to the memory and will keep your mood and energy levels low.
It’s time to let those past people go.
No old school friends, no negative news posts, no extended family members, no people connected to negative past, anyone else? Facebook Page Likes
So you’ve only a few friends left, these are your ‘genuine’ friends and your ‘close’ family. It may not be the 1000 that made you feel popular before but it is who ‘deserves’ to know everything in and out of your life. But what about the pages that you like ( this could be bad news to suggest for me! ) , have you liked a page that shares negative information or lowers your mood? Do pop stars you follow ever sing songs of negativity, e.g. Adelle or do other pages show their life and how amazing they are rather than adding value and improving your life, for example, the likes of the Kardhashians? Be conscious of the pages that you follow and whether the information they share are going to make you feel good or bad.
Feng Shui your digital social life
So now you follow pages that make you feel good, you no longer see your old school friends, the negative posts, the extended family you never see or anyone connected to your negative past I bet you feel a bit more positive the next time you look at your Facebook news feed and if all else fails and you feel bad for unfriending you can always ask to be friends again and just say you were thinking of leaving Facebook but changed your mind, if they were true friends they’ll accept your friendship back straight away anyway!
The founder of BoM decluttered his digital social life when he was recovering from a mental health breakdown and suffering from depression and personally felt an improved sense of being whilst also improving his focus on what matters most which is his own health, his close family, the progress he has made in his own life, to stop comparing his life to others and being totally conscious of what he was feeding into his mind, is it negative or is it positive? His digital life had become a positive outlet through decluttering.
Choose positive connections, erase the negative ones
To finish, here is a video to put social media use into perspective. Social media use can be great if you consciously choose ‘positive outlets and connections’ and its important to realize that everyone’s life may look perfect on the outside just be conscious not many people post their negative experiences and most of all being popular and connected doesn’t matter, contentment of life does!