I recently deleted about 30+ people from my Facebook friends. Why? Because I either don’t speak to them anymore or I spend my time feeling shit because their lives look way more impressive than mine. Now don’t get me wrong, I am aware that this is not their fault, it is just my own insecurities getting the best of me – we have all been there.
I’ve attempted to get rid of a lot people from my friend list many times before but I would only end up deleting some sort of business page that was no longer in use. I felt guilty for choosing to remove someone for what seems like such a small reason and I didn’t want anyone to be insulted by my decision. I would be insulted if I discovered I had been unfriended. But this time though I really went for it, because what is a good choice for yourself should always come first.
I deleted people who I don’t see or speak to anymore because I use Facebook for communicating with my friends, especially those who live abroad, I mean it’s free so of course I’m gonna message them on there instead of texting! So, if I use it to talk to people why would I keep a ton of people that I don’t speak to? I mean how many of the friends on my list would I say Hello to if I met them on the street, very few if I’m honest! That’s not a reflection on them or me, it is just that we aren’t close.
I may have known you pretty well six years ago but I’m fairly sure you don’t know anything about me other than something I shared on Facebook. In my case that is really fuck all because I’m far too lazy to even write a status half the time.
There is another more selfish reason I have decided to do a Facebook spring clean though. Some of my Facebook friends make me feel shit about where I am in my life. Now it is not there fault, god no, they are just sharing their lives and more power to them, but I don’t really like that it makes me as sad and jealous as it does. The reason it makes me so sad and jealous, and not overjoyed with pride in your accomplishments in life is because I’m looking at it through a very distorted filter, a social media filter that seems to only allow me to see the things that will make me sad and jealous, and not things that make me wanna say ‘fair fucks’ or ‘yaaass queen’.
What I’m basically saying is I have purged my friends list for my own selfish reasons not because of anything these people have actually done themselves. Social media can be such a toxic thing. We spend hours and hours engrossed in later people’s lives, and personally it doesn’t make me feel good. All I seem to do (and I’m sure there are many people out there who do the same) is compare myself to other people. I compare how I look, my career, my eating and exercising habits, what shows I’m watching, even the amount I go out and socialise. I’m completely comfortable with all of those things when I start my day but after any amount of time on social media I’m googling tips on how to have a more exciting life without having to leave the house. I basically have an unhealthy relationship with the people on my newsfeed, despite not having spoken to them in person in years or in some cases ever.
I want my newsfeed to be filled with news that my close friends and family are sharing, funny memes that make me laugh, pictures of the people I love doing what they love, not people I knew three years ago getting a promotion in what appears to be the coolest job ever, I don’t begrudge you it, but I’m not going to congratulate you when we haven’t spoken in years, I’m probably going to scroll past quickly and feel awful about my own life. I want to actually feel happy for my friends when I go online instead of feeling as though I need to get out and be a completely different person in order to be successful or to have a good time/nice things.
I think we are all much more vulnerable than we realise when it comes to social media, not in a practical sense – we’ve all seen Catfish, we know how it goes, but in terms of our mental and emotional health we invest too much of ourselves in other people’s lives, other people who we don’t really know or have a relationship with. It’s no different than pouring over magazines with celebrities or watching scripted reality TV. It can be fun of it is done in a light hearted way, but when we start to invest our own feelings in the material lives of other people we stop be happy for people, we get bitter and jealous, which makes us miserable and self-hating.
So clean-up your friends list, make sure that everyone on there makes you feel a positive emotion when you scroll past them, get rid of people who you don’t talk to because it makes meeting them with silence on the street less awkward and finally, take a break from it all together once and a while. You don’t NEED to be on Facebook while taking a shit so leave the phone in the other room once in a while. Detox. I promise you will feel better.