Mental Health, Social Media, technology, wellness

Why ‘Social Media Cleanses’ Aren’t Always the Answer

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We live in a world that, let’s face it, we’re all still adjusting to. Technology. Social media. Easy access into other peoples’ lives. I have friends that aren’t on social media at all, friends who use it once in awhile, friends that share all the mundane details of their lives, friends who are using it to establish connections & businesses, and friends who use social media solely to watch others. At the end of the day, how & why my friends decide to use it is none of my business nor is it up to me to decide. Whether they’re using it as an outlet for themselves, are using it as a resource to connect with & stay connected to others, are using it to build a business, or are using it to keep a watchful eye on their friends – it truly has nothing to do with me.

This is kind of a controversial stance to take, but I’m gonna do it anyway at the risk of ruffling some feathers because who am I if I’m not speaking my authentic truth in order to appease others? To preface, I completely agree that what we post on social media cannot possibly depict the entirety of our lives & there will always be things, for one reason or another, that we all choose not to share. But come on, this is an obvious, well-known fact. The bottom line is that no photo on the internet can make YOU feel anything — less beautiful, less successful, less happy, less fulfilled. If you feel that way, it’s probably based on something already inside yourself. And rather than avoiding that with social media cleanses or projecting our stuff onto other people, it’s probably more effective to lean into & explore that.

I can say this because I’ve been there. When I was single, I felt so shitty when I saw photos of happy couples. When I was unhealthy, I HATED seeing healthy people doing their thing. And while I often projected my own stuff onto them with an eye roll, an unfollow, or some shit talking to my friends, I knew it wasn’t them or social media that was the problem. If we are truly happy, truly fulfilled, truly satisfied with our own lives, we can be happy for others instead of doubting their authenticity or overanalyzing what they choose to share on social media. And if we aren’t, then we should be grateful for the opportunity to dig deeper within ourselves to uncover why that is.

If you’re considering a social media cleanse in order to minimize distraction or be more productive/present with your loved ones, then HELL YES – go for it! But if you’re considering one in order to feel less bad about yourself/your life, I’m just saying that probably isn’t the answer. It might make you feel better temporarily, but there’s likely some deeper stuff going on that would be worth further exploration. Because if we’re using social media as a baseline for our own lives, the problem isn’t social media, the problem is us.

Instead of a social media cleanse, try these things instead:
▪️asking yourself the tough questions, like ‘why am I feeling triggered by this?’ or ‘am I happy with this part of my own life?’ — If the answer is no, figure out how you can shift that
▪️talking it out with a therapist or trusted friend that won’t judge you for your reaction, but who will also challenge it
▪️creating real, tangible goals in your own life & staying connected to them on a daily basis
▪️diving into a personal development book on specific areas that you struggle with

As with anything new, we need to learn to adjust. So set some boundaries & make sure you’re staying connected to your own reality, but don’t run from what you see on social media. Instead, use it to help you better understand yourself & lean into what comes up for you.

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