In the age of social media, it’s safe to say that the vast majority of us have at least one outlet at our fingertips. And while there are both pros and cons to social media that one could debate for hours, one thing is for certain: social media has changed the world, forever.
Every time I sign up for a new social media forum, I feel like I’m splitting my soul. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest… these are my Horcruxes. (I always have room for a Harry Potter reference.)
There are people I’m connected with over social media that I haven’t seen or spoken to in years. I don’t think I’m alone there; social media makes it simpler to communicate but it also enables us to take the backseat regarding initiating conversations. You don’t need to pick up a phone or write a letter to someone to know what’s going on in their life anymore. Just look at their wall! Check your dashboard!
However, sometimes we see things we don’t necessarily want to see.
If you’re anything like me, then you retain a lot of the emotion that’s happening around you. One of my personal challenges is not only bottling my own problems and emotions up until I explode; I tend to channel the emotions and problems of the people I surround myself with, as well. And while one can make the argument that this means you’re intuitive to the feelings of others, as true as that may be, it also means that you take it upon yourself to shoulder stress that isn’t necessary. It’s not right! And it’s a challenge in my own life I struggle to overcome regularly.
It’s one thing when you’re being empathetic in support of others. It’s another when it’s bleeding into your own life, as well.
So, when I logged on to Facebook or saw my Instagram feed, I’d read every update and status and internalize it past its face value. Negative words that weren’t directed at me would drive me up the wall. I’d get frustrated about things that weren’t mine or anyone else’s business, but the words would be boldly written across my feed anyway. I came to realize, this is my problem, not someone else’s. So, instead of badmouthing someone or getting annoyed, I decided to take initiative.
Here’s the thing I want to be made very clear: this blog post isn’t about what you put out there on the internet for your friends and followers to see. Frankly, that’s a whole other topic and it’s not what I’m addressing. The point here is, you are in control of what you see on social media. Period. If someone posts something that makes you uncomfortable, unfollow them. There’s no need to make a scene. It’s clean, quick, and easy. On Facebook, in particular, you can unfollow someone, take their updates off of your feed, and still stay friends with the person. On websites like Tumblr, you can blacklist certain tags so that they won’t show up on your dashboard anymore. The options are endless.
You are in control of what you see on social media. Period.
There are much more appropriate avenues in this world to address the people who rouse you up. Writing an angry rant on their page or a subtweet is not on that list.
So, unfollow the ex. Block the tag. Unfriend the person who is certainly not your friend. And for Pete’s sake, delete that Instagram app that shows you who is unfollowing you, etc. You know the one! Don’t waste your time with that nonsense.
There are more important things than the number of friends or followers you have.