I Love The Unfollow Button


I Love The Unfollow ButtonPicture it: it’s the holiday season, you’re busy trying to do and buy all the things so you can make it magical, and you scroll your social media feeds only to see your friends and family all doing the same thing as you. You’re seeing them plug into events you can’t afford or experiences that are unique and once-in-a-lifetime. Your feed is full of the joy of the season, but you can’t seem to shake the feeling you’re never going to get things right or be the kind of parent or spouse you’d like to be, especially after seeing all these amazing experiences and events others are taking part in. 

Or perhaps you’re scrolling that social media feed in hopes of inspiration for some hobby or event you’re doing. There are groups that pop up in your feed (thanks, algorithm!) with some of the most intricate Dollar Tree crafts that you can’t imagine putting together yourself. There are recipes floating by with complex techniques and delicate decorations that would take you months to perfect. Your feed continues to give you access to these groups with images of epic kid birthday party ideas that would cost hundreds of dollars to recreate. 

Maybe it’s your own study of people in your age range who seem to just have it all together. You know the ones. They have the glowing profile pictures that appear to show them always looking put together in fabulous outfits with perfect makeup. They share updates that show them achieving career heights and tackling challenges that make their lives look magical in comparison to your own. 

Comparison is the thief of joy, and we’ve probably all said that in relation to social media at this point.

Yet we’re still inundated with these images and posts that make it so incredibly easy to compare our own lives and experiences to those of others, whether they be friend, family, or strangers in a group we follow. It’s so hard to get around this feedback loop of picking up our phones, pulling up our Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok apps, and then “doom scrolling” as my husband likes to call it our way through glossy images that seem meant to showcase the best of everyone else’s lives.

I don’t know if you’re like me at all, but there are times when I battle with poor mental health and find myself hooked on these feedback loops.

I spend too much time scrolling my social media feeds and falling into comparison envy as I look at what others post and share online, even if I, too, am just as guilty of only sharing the best parts of my life. For whatever reason, I can share the good things on my feed and still struggle with seeing the blessings in my life when I’m scrolling. 

Not too terribly long ago, it occurred to me that while I do struggle with getting off my phone (don’t we all?) and not getting hooked into the doom scrolling, I could at least manage a little of my comparison envy by utilizing that little “unfollow” button. And so it began. I will admit that some accounts were more difficult to follow than others for me, so I began to hit that “unfollow” button and waited to see the results. Whether it was groups, acquaintances, or advertisers, if I noticed I was reacting too negatively to the posts shared, I would hit that button and try to minimize my interactions with those pages. 

What I found was that after a while, my social media stopped pushing those pages into my feed as much. In fact, a few of those groups that were frequently in my notifications with updates stopped altogether, and I stopped missing them at all. I even had a conversation with someone who mentioned a page we mutually follow. There was a glossy update I’d never even seen that she mentioned, and while I felt mildly curious, I knew it felt much better just not even seeing it in the first place. 

Eventually, I’ll probably try to limit my social media time even more since it clearly sucks up too much of my time, but I think for now I’ll practice using that little “unfollow” button when I find myself getting down about posts in my feed. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about the person or group I’m backing off from. It just means I’m prioritizing my own mental health in a culture that expects us to only connect via tiny phone screens rather than spending time in one another’s presences. My goal is going to be to find ways to connect with the people I’m close to outside of my phone screen, and I think that will allow me to enjoy greater contentment and foster closer relationships anyway.

So if you ever find yourself struggling with the doom scrolling and feeling down about the glossy life updates and group images that fill your screen, maybe you, too, can try out that little “unfollow” button and see if the feedback loop calms down a bit. And if you’re reading this and happen to be a friend of mine, it’s totally okay with me if you need to “unfollow” me for more great tips and tricks.

I won’t even be mad about it.


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