Why Unfollowing People On Social Media Is Energetically Freeing
I had been following over 400 people on Instagram. Occasionally I’d scroll through my “following” list and filter out some accounts I no longer wanted to see. However, I still followed people like exes, ex-friends, and people who I didn’t talk to anymore who weren’t posting amazing content. Why did I feel the need to hold onto these flimsy connections? If I really wanted to contact someone, didn’t I have other means of doing so? Do I really need 400+ friends when on a daily basis I converse with a maximum of 30 people ever?
I cleaned up my Instagram feed, which left me following only 80 people (for now). At first I made it all the way down to 25, but then refollowed some new accounts. And there are STILL some accounts remaining that I would like to unfollow, but my ego gets in the way.
“What if they feel hurt or upset?” it asks me. Well, does it harm me to continue to follow them? In my opinion, yes, there are some people I am still “following” who I would rather not be.
If it were completely up to me (and the crazy part is, it IS completely up to me) — I’d only be following about 30 people, consisting of close friends and family members who I am in contact with on a daily basis, as well as some “high vibe” accounts whose feeds bring me joy. Maybe one day I will have the courage to do a total cleanse, but for now my ego still rules.
As I clicked unfollow, I tapped into how my body was feeling. Every unfollow felt incredibly freeing, and for certain people, there was a visceral sensation of release. I was letting go of my past with people where things had ended badly, where situations associated with them were negative, or people who I met during bad times in my life, so there was an automatic negative association. I was also letting go of people whose accounts did not have much emotional hold over me, but were not positive contributions to my feed.
You see, everything is energy. We put our energy in so many places outside ourselves. But it’s time for us to claim it back. Every time we give our attention to something or someone, it takes away our energy. Little by little, our energy gets drained over time. We are largely asleep to this fact. But if we look at larger public health trends— anxiety and depression are higher than ever before and continue to rise— we find an association with the rise of social media, and perhaps we can see that the way we use our technology plays a role.
Social media is just a tool. It can be extremely beneficial if we are using it mindfully. However, the mindless scrolling, following negative influences, following people out of obligation rather than enjoyment— all of these things are energy suckers. Our energy is our most valuable possession. It is our soul. It is our life force. It is important that we become conscious of this, as it is the gateway to lasting happiness.
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