If you’re anything like me, you spend a good portion of your day with your eyes glued to your phone. In a world of clicks, swipes, and likes, it’s easy to get swept up in the constant current of your social media feeds.
While social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook can work wonders for staying in touch with old friends and checking in with cross-country pals, they can also be a breeding ground for comparison and jealousy.
Recently I’ve found myself feeling drained and defeated after logging off Instagram. After scrolling through (and liking) photos of women with seemingly perfect lives and even more perfect bodies, I am often left feeling worse about my adult acne and stamp-less passport.
So why should I go back day after day to the same feed, liking photos, and feeling bad about myself?
I shouldn’t! And if you’re feeling this way, neither should you!
Social media has become an important and engaging part of modern existence. Sure, it’s not for everyone, but if you do use the platforms, it’s important you also make them work for you.
The beauty of social media is that no two feeds are the same. You can cater them to your interests and social circles —to what makes you feel good— unfollowing the rest.
Over the past few months, I’ve made some radical changes to the way I use social media. It may sound silly, but I can feel a drastic difference in my happiness.
Here are a few simple ways to restructure your scrolling to create an empowering social media experience:
GET TO KNOW YOUR HABITS
The most important step on any journey to self-empowerment is to check in with yourself. Maybe you’re in need of a digital detox or to set goals limiting your screen time before bed.
If you’re an iPhone user, hop on over to the Screen Time app in your settings. Here you can track your habits and set limits for individual app usage. If you are using Android or other devices, check out similar apps like Space.
TIDY UP YOUR FEED
Next time you log on, pay attention to how you feel when viewing each post. Does the image make you feel inspired or hopeful? Does it make you feel anxious, jealous, or inferior?
If any of the latter are true, it is time to take action. It is OK to protect yourself from content that doesn’t make you feel good. If it’s not feeding your soul, why look at it?
On Instagram, the unfollow and block options are available to remove someone’s content from your online space. On Facebook, you can unfriend those whose content doesn’t serve you.
But what if the content turning you green with envy is that of your cousin Shirley? If you’re worried about hurting someone’s feelings by removing them from your feed, you have options.
On Instagram, you can employ the mute feature. This allows you to remove someone’s posts and stories from your feed without alerting the poster. Facebook’s unfollow function works in a similar way.
Related Content: 8 Signs You Need a Digital Detox
FILL YOUR FEED WITH INSPIRATION
Social media platforms work on algorithms which identify the content you engage with most so they can expose you to more of the same. If you want your Instagram Explore page to be filled with images of cute puppies, start following puppy pages.
If you want your feed to be filled with strong women, start by checking out these accounts run by boss ladies who are sure to make you feel good about just being you:
MakersWomen is full of inspiring quotes meant for real-life women.
i_weigh is a page run by The Good Place star Jameela Jamil. Her content is focused on body positivity, radical inclusivity, and advocacy.
Curating a mindful and empowering social media experience is an important component of taking control of your digital space. Taking these small steps can help ensure that you’re actually loving all that you “like.”