We all have that friend right? The one whose posts drive you crazy, make you feel guilty, or just plain bum you out, but you keep them around because you feel like a jerk blocking them. I talked about this a little over here, but today I’m going to talk about why you don’t need to feel guilty and why you absolutely, 100% definitely can and should block those folks.
There are a million different kinds of people you should probably block, but these are the big three:
- The constant complainer. They always find something to complain about, whether it’s their health, the weather, their partner, their children, or anything else. No matter what happens, they seem to have a special skill for finding the negative and throwing it all over social media. It’s annoying and depressing, and there’s no way anyone is benefiting from that.
- The drama queen/king. The people who post stuff like “OMG, had the worst day today. I can’t even. 😦 😦 😦 ” and wait for the attention to come rolling in. That kind of negative attention seeking doesn’t serve any purpose except to bring everyone else down. If it’s someone you really care about, you can still be supportive, but take it off of social media. Block them, but text or call periodically to check in. Because really, your newsfeed doesn’t need to be filled with “I HATE my new hair! What do you guys think?” with 50 selfies.
- The aggressive believer. Whether it’s Christianity, atheism, veganism, or healthy eating, they know that their way is right and will use every post to convince you to join their cause. If their posts stress you out, block them. Even if someone is fighting for a great cause that you believe in, if their posts make you depressed or anxious or otherwise upset, it’s okay to block them, at least for a little while.
No matter how close you once were, how much you like someone in person, or how related to you they are, unless someone’s social media posts actively add to your life and make you happy, there is no reason to have them in your newsfeed. If you’re uncomfortable unfriending them completely, just block their posts or unfollow them. That way, you don’t have to see their posts and they’ll never know. You just get to reap the benefits of a more positive social media experience. If you want some mental health positivity in your life, you can follow FTWTWBlog on Instagram and Twitter or like Finding the Way to Well’s Facebook page.
Want more tips for cleaning up your screen time?
Set limits on your social media and connection time. I don’t check my phone before I leave the house in the morning, except for the time and the weather. Once you’ve showered and eaten and gotten dressed, you’re better prepared to face the day, which includes the potential stress of social media/texts/e-mails/calls/etc. At night, cut yourself off at least an hour before bed. This will give you some time to wind down without being inundated with potentially upsetting or stressful stuff, and the blue light is terrible for you at bedtime anyway.
Go off the grid during new, exciting experiences. I know it’s tempting to Instagram every moment of your vacation or every course of an expensive meal, but resist the urge. If you’re so focused on documenting and sharing everything, you won’t be able to be fully present and enjoy the experience. Take pictures, and if you want to, you can always post them later.
Know your boundaries with emotionally intense TV and movies. Pay attention to the way your body and brain react to upsetting, graphic, or scary TV and movies. I love scary movies, but I noticed that my anxiety levels would skyrocket for a few days every time I watched something scary. Now that I know that, I can make the choice to expose myself to scary stuff and ratchet up my anxiety if I want to, but mostly I avoid it. It took me a long time to accept this, but it’s okay to stop watching something if it upsets you. Turn it off. Leave the room. Leave the movie theater. Your mental health is your first priority, and it’s always okay to make the healthiest choice for you.
Avoid, avoid, avoid. Don’t click on the link to the blog post about animal abuse. Scroll right on past the heartfelt video about the deaf baby hearing its mother’s voice for the first time. Ignore the blog post about rape culture. I’m not suggesting that you live in a bubble and completely cut yourself off from anything that could ever upset you, but why are you willingly clicking on things that you know will make you cry? Are you going to solve the world’s problems by reading one more article? Probably not. It all goes back to that whole should/shouldn’t issue. You feel like you should read those articles and get worked up about those issues, but all it’s doing is upsetting you. I may have mentioned this a time or two, but your mental health is your first priority. If reading upsetting articles or seeing violent movies is making you feel worse, stop doing it. At least for a little while.
It can be a hard process to control your media intake, but ultimately it is so worth it. As always, let me know how it’s going via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Take care of yourselves, and keep fighting the good fight.