I’ve been feeling… off, lately.
Not ill. More like, something’s not quite right but I can’t put my finger on it.
On the surface, I have it all. Two years ago, I jumped on a plane to London with only a carry on bag and big dreams of making a living writing and blogging.
Now I’m living that dream. I have a boyfriend who worships me. We’re thinking of moving out of London, getting our own house and starting a family.
Yet, I have this nagging feeling I should be more. Do more. Have more. Be more successful. Get more followers. Write more articles. Appear in the press. Do videos. Buy more designer clothes. Go on more luxury holidays.
It’s like no matter how much I work, how many goals I cross off my bucket list, it’s never enough.
It wasn’t always like this. When I first arrived in London, I didn’t have any friends or contacts here. Money was tight. I shopped for food at Lidl, walked 40 minutes to get there and spent every free moment pitching potential clients. Yet, I had never felt happier. The world was my oyster. I was finally starting to build my dream and I would let nothing or no one rain on my parade.
I felt so proud when I could finally afford to get a room all to myself (London is so expensive, most people rent rooms in flatshares rather than whole flats) or buy a designer dress (even if at a sample sale). Now I’m wondering what’s wrong with me for not spending £10K on clothes every month or not going on holidays to the Maldives once a year.
When did this start?!
Up until now, I had managed to escape social media. I used to keep up with industry news but I’m never been the type to share what I had for dinner or vlog about the places I visit. I’m an introvert. I crave deep conversations with people rather than small talk with everyone. Social media has brought the small talk online and I was steering well clear of it.
Until I couldn’t anymore.
I know I lost many job opportunities because I don’t have an Instagram channel or not enough followers on Twitter. And so I decided to bite the bullet and give this Instagram thing a go. What’s the worst that could happen?
Maybe you don’t have to use social media for work. Maybe you’re on it because you want to see what your friends are doing, support your fave bloggers or just to get inspired. Regardless of the reason, I’m pretty sure this has happened to you too.
One day you’re happily scrolling through beautiful images of perfectly arranged flat lays, exotic holidays and luxury designer handbags. The next you’re wondering what the heck is wrong with you for not having all that?! Your house is a mess. Your exotic vacation is a weekend at Brighton. And as much as you’d like to, you can’t justify spending £3K on Chanel bag. You feel like a loser.
I call it social media comparisonitis. We all know that Instagram images are more photoshopped than anything in Vogue and that you shouldn’t compare your behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel but it’s easier said than that, especially when you’re bombarded with said images every single day.
So how can a girl stop it? Click that unfollow button.
Unfollowing Isn’t Rude
I get it. Unfollowing someone on Instagram or any social media platform feels like social suicide. What if they notice and ask you why you did such a horrible thing. It’s even worse when that person is a friend or a colleague you see often.
But unfollowing someone on social media doesn’t mean you are a bad person. It doesn’t mean they are a bad person either. It just means that the content they’re posting on their social media channels isn’t resonating with you. Worse, it’s making you feel miserable about yourself.
Your feed is yours. You have the right to have only images or text that makes you feel powerful, inspired and motivated. If not, click that unfollow button.
You can still be friends with that person even if you don’t follow them on Instagram. Just because you enjoy reading someone’s blog, it doesn’t mean you enjoy seeing their Instagram feed as well. Just because you love hanging out with your friend, it doesn’t mean you’re enjoying what she’s posting online.
And so click unfollow. If they’re really your friend, they’ll be the first to tell you that if their account doesn’t make you feel good, you shouldn’t follow them (if they don’t, you’d better question if this person is really a friend). But let’s be honest, most of the people you follow, you will never meet in real life. Maybe their content used to inspire you but these days it only reminds you of the things you don’t have yet. Unfollow. They won’t even notice it.
Why You Should Click That Unfollow Button
Once you gather up the courage to click that unfollow button, your social media life will change for the better. Your real life too.
You’ll stay focused on your goals instead than trying to keep up with the Joneses.
You’ll feel happier and more relaxed about your life rather than frustrated and depressed you don’t have what other people are showing off on their feed (do you even really want it after all?).
Your feed will be full of content than truly inspires you to achieve your goals instead than spam you couldn’t care less about – and that makes you feel like you will never achieve them.
You’ll be able to make genuine connections with people who inspire you rather than doing mindless small talk with a bunch of strangers you don’t even like that much.
Since I purged my Instagram of all the accounts that made me feel miserable, ugly and worthless, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Life is getting back its vibrant colours again.
Go on, click that unfollow button. It’ll be one of the best things you ever do for your confidence and happiness.
Over to you, now. Have you been feeling the same about social media lately and, if so, how are you dealing with it? Share your experience in the comments below.