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‘Cleansing’ Your Social Media Feed

Social media facilitates, enhances and encourages social connection on many levels. It enables us to explore a diverse array of opinions, locations and stories, and connect with people we most likely wouldn’t have encountered outside of the digital realm. With this said, social media doesn’t come without its complications, and if we’re not careful, our feeds can become overwhelmingly saturated with content which actively diminishes our sense of achievement, worth and value.

It is therefore imperative that we take regulatory steps to remove the magnifying glass from this content, and restore positivity and enjoyment across our social media platforms. Listed below are some tips and prompts to help you reclaim control of the content you’re exposed to, and manage your algorithms (to the best of your ability). Remember, this will look different for everyone, and it is important to identify and recognise your individual needs, and reflect these in your approach to social media regulation and navigation.

Check yourself! Are you following any people/accounts which don’t serve you, or that actively fuel self-doubt? Maybe ask yourself:

  • Why am I following this person/account?

  • How do I feel after seeing their content?

  • How would I feel if I unfollowed them?

  • Do I compare any aspect of my life to theirs, and how does this make me feel? Does it leave me feeling motivated and inspired, or disheartened and inadequate?

Take the time to unfollow any people/accounts which negatively impact you. This could be for a variety of complex reasons, and does not require justification. Refer to the prompts above when doing so, if this helps, and do what feels right for you. If unfollowing initially feels too abrasive, many social media platforms now contain a ‘mute’ function, which you can utilise to hide content from creators that you no longer want to appear on your feed.

Avoid engaging with damaging or harmful content. Now this is definitely easier said than done, especially as it can often feel like the algorithm is working against you, but it is so important to refrain from viewing media which doesn’t serve you or meet your needs. If you see something you don’t like, or which you know is only going to negatively affect you, just keep scrolling.

On the flip side, actively engage with content which positively impacts, influences or interests you. Whether this comes in the form of cooking tutorials, daily vlogs, opinion pieces or cat videos, it is imperative that you identify what you enjoy, and actively search for it. The more you view, like, share and engage with this content, the more the algorithm will (hopefully) send it your way.

While social media can sometimes feel incredibly overwhelming and overstimulating, it is important to acknowledge the positive role it plays in forging human connections, and facilitating the exchange of information, education and resources across global boundaries. These tips/prompts are not to undermine this, but instead, to recognise the positive potential that social media holds, and encourage us all to nurture a healthy relationship with our phones. Happy scrolling!

Written by Martha Robinson




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