The Guilt Free Social Media Cleanse

14 January

Something I always like to do when a new year rolls around is to make sure my online space is relevant to me. Whilst I've always been fairly strict on my social media in terms of who I follow, not opting to follow people just for the sake of it or because they've followed me, I do go through phases where I will follow a lot of accounts with certain themes. Unfortunately, algorithms often mean I rarely see the new accounts I follow, and following more accounts also means I see less of the accounts I did actively seek out, follow and enjoy the content of. So, with each new year, I like to have a social media cleanse - and this year, I'm going guilt-free, and I think you should too.

A picture of a Punky Pins Breaking News I Don't Care Sticker for a blog post on having a guilt free social media cleanse

I tend to keep the number of people I follow down to a semi-reasonable amount to try and work around algorithms and still be able to actually see the content of accounts I follow. It's a shame, really, that there are no options, particularly on platforms like Instagram, to skip the algorithm and just see new content from every account you follow (in chronological order, ah, those were the days!), and instead, I have to resort to slim lining my followings so I can see the account that interest and inspire me.

Usually, I just unfollow the accounts I never see and so don't really remember following, or accounts that no longer interest me. This year I've approached things a little differently; there are far too many accounts I still follow out of politeness, purely because I've followed them for so long. No one wants to cause upset by unfollowing someone, which I know can leave some people feeling a tad rubbish if they realise someone has unfollowed them (and yes, I'm talking from experience here), but I'm also not on social media to keep other people happy. I want my social media to be a reflection of myself, and that shows in the accounts I follow and want to see on my feeds each day.

So no longer am I quietly muting people, rather than unfollowing, because I'm worried how they'll react. I'm not down with following people who take up space on my social media feeds just because I've followed them for near on a decade and I feel like I owe them something for the amount of time we've happened to use the same social media platform. I have absolutely no interest in following people who I once felt I had something in common with, but over the years I've seen a shift, in both their opinions and my own, and now find myself internally cringing at the things they share. I'm sure there are plenty of people who feel the same way about me - and I hope, they too would feel comfortable clicking that unfollow button.

You see, this isn't how social media should work, in my opinion. We shouldn't be following someone because of fear or obligation or expectation or acceptance. We should follow people who inspire us, who help nurture our souls, who add something positive and meaningful to our lives. People who when we are grey and old, we can remember as people who has a real impact on our lives; because I guarantee the people who don't give you that, won't be memorable.

So if there's someone you've been wanting to unfollow but have been worrying about the 'what ifs', don't. You don't have to worry about what might happen if you unfollow them because I can guarantee you the world will not implode, your life will not be affected, both you and the accounts that are no longer on the same page as you will be fine. Instead, put that energy into cultivating social media feeds that make you happy, because anything less, is not worth your time.

Want to join in the conversation and share how you use social media to enrich your life? Or have any favourite accounts you think I should check out? You can tweet me @TattooedTealady, check out my Facebook page Tattooed Tealady, or reach me on Instagram @TattooedTealady.

P.s. you can find this fabulous vinyl sticker on the PunkyPins Etsy shop!

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