I’m Salvaging My Mental Health by Unfollowing Toxic People on Social Media
Y'all... 2020 has been a wild ride, hasn't it? These days, you have to worry about everything from murder hornets to a deadly disease running rampant through the world. The list of craziness has inspired a game called 2020 Bingo.
Mother Nature HAS thrown a lot at us. Avoiding the COVID and the murder hornets and the sheer thought of Kanye being president of the United States has definitely taken a toll on my mental health. But you know what has really bored a black hole deep down into my soul? The never-ending stream of negativity on social media. The never-ending stream of opinions that everyone feels the need to share about every single thing. The never-ending stream of myths, gossip, half-fact maybes, and blatant untruths that people who I consider friends throw around like confetti. It's sickening. And it was ALL getting to me.
Social media is work-related resource and I have to been active on it for a good chunk of my day. Otherwise, I'd have made the choice a long time ago to abandon ship. (Except Instagram - that's my happy place.) It makes my heart too heavy to see people act the way they do. To me, it's a necessary evil. But, after last week, I was compelled to be more proactive in my approach to what I view and who I associate myself with.
I consider my Facebook news feed to be like my virtual living room. I can and will control who I let in and who I interact with. First, I made a list in my head of what I found to be acceptable and unacceptable. And I started limiting my interaction with the people who habitually post the unacceptable.
- Posts about fact-based news.
- Posts that convey respectful opposing view points.
- Photos of kids, puppies, kittens, any living creature really, food, and yes even vacations.
- Posts that call people or groups of people names or say hateful things.
- Posts that support hate groups or hateful ideologies.
- Post that contain blatant untruths.
- Posts that contain the comment, "I don't know if this is true but I'm sharing anyway." **THIS IS GOSSIP and I won't support the sharing of gossip.
- Those ads that show a woman in thin leggings bending over showing you her panty lines AND her business? Ew. Nothx
So, this past week, I'd had ENOUGH. DONE DONE DONE. In the past, I'd always hide a post or snooze them for 30 days but it was inevitable - they'd come back and be just as toxic! Enough was enough and I started cutting people out of my Facebook feed left and right. I'd click those three little dots and say UNFOLLOW. We still remain friends on Facebook and they are welcome to look at and comment on the funny, uplifting, and flippin' adorable photos I post of my pets and kids but I won't be seeing their toxic content any longer. I'm not even a little bit sorry.
And you know what I found? I'm basically a dried up little plant that has finally been watered. In only a week's time, I feel so much better! It was like that summer when I was single and had nothing to do so I watched every episode of NipTuck for like two weeks straight. I was in such a dark horrible place! I felt icky and dirty and SAD. That's how I was feeling this time last week and had felt for a while. I know all of the negativity and the lies are still out there. But I don't have to surround my mind and my heart with them. I don't have to let myself get pulled into the darkness. I don't have to let them into my real living room or my virtual living room to blast the noise at me.
I took back control and I silenced it all.
I saw something once that said you have the right to cut unhealthy people out of your life no matter who they are. And that's 100% true. Changing people isn't your job but changing yourself is. Focus on yourself and what you need. If you love the debates and the mean comments and pushing your agenda no matter what, that's between you and your Higher Power. Or maybe just you and yourself.
As for me, no more.