Forgetting About Failing
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5 Facebook Friends to Unfollow Right Now

5 Facebook Friends to Unfollow Right Now
5 Facebook Friends to Unfollow Right Now

So Facebook. That’s a vile treasure trove of unintelligible venom these days, huh? Real pleasant. Real special.

About two and a half years ago, I realized the correlation between my mood and what was taking up my mental energy. It dawned on me that every time I spent 10 minutes scrolling through Facebook, I’d feel more disappointed, agitated and cranky when I was through. People who I liked in real life were getting under my skin on social media and I was letting the most trivial quirks affect me.

Then it became very clear that the problem wasn’t with my friends saying the wrong thing or posting the wrong picture or trying to sell me Jamberry; the problem was me. If I couldn’t navigate social media with a sort of mental detachment to prevent it from affecting my mood and my thoughts, then maybe I needed to work on some things offline.

I deactivated my account for nearly two years while I was pregnant with my second child and through the first year of his life. I didn’t really miss it, but I did feel disconnected from people I care about and don’t see very often. As luck/horrendous timing would have it, I rejoined just before the election.

Holy hot madness.

I tried really hard guys. I tried really, really hard to stay apolitical and even-keeled. And then somehow one day that devolved into a thesis-sized comment on someone’s post and then a status of my own that lead to a political debate. With my mother. On Facebook.

That is not a recipe for mental wellness, folks.

My husband has been warning me, nicely and subtly, that THIS IS NOT GOING TO END WELL, NATALIE. And just this once, I guess he’s right. I can’t sustain this level of rage, confusion, head-smacking and general eye rolling. I mean, if someone wanted to pay me to craft reasonable responses to nonsensical political memes, where do I sign?? But those offers aren’t rolling in, and 99% of the time the response stays in my head, rolling around in there fueled by bitterness and self-righteousness.

Who does that affect? Me. Not “them.”

So what “them” needs to be shown the door so that my feed can actually feed me more than resentment?

  1. The woe is me-er. Begins most updates with some version of “You won’t believe what happened now” or “Why does this always happen to me?” Spoiler: we will believe it because you just told us the other 19 travesties that happened to you this morning. Sorry your coffee burnt your tongue, your cable went out and you have a cold. Sorry not sorry to see you go.
  2. The selfie-er. This one needs no explanation.
  3. The political extremist. Whatever side of the spectrum you fall on, you don’t need to catch the panic, hate or vindictiveness of someone who can’t possibly fathom how anyone could come to a conclusion that differs from their own. You can even be on the same side as these people, but if they use “Those liberals,” “All the Republicans,” “Black people always,”etc., they’re simply not anyone whose opinion should inform yours.
  4. The stranger. Why clog your feed with that guy your cousin introduced you to at that one college party in 2007? Make some more room for gif’s of people tripping already!
  5. Anyone that sucks energy out of you. You know who they are. Maybe you were frenemies in high school and never really got over it, maybe he never should have married someone that attractive, maybe you’ve been keeping tabs on her because she always said hi to your man before you, maybe there is no good reason at all…but there are people who drain you, discourage you and leave you feeling less than even across a computer screen. Say buh-bye and move on.

This is just a small step in remembering to prioritize self-care during this absolutely insane time in history. I plan to write more about the constant struggle to balance staying informed with staying healthy. Don’t forget, mommas: take a step back when it all seems too much. Those inflammatory, unproductive posts (and selfies!) will be there tomorrow.

 

Who would you add to this list?  Do you feel guilty unfollowing people even though they don’t know about it?

What kind of friends are on your must-follow list? I like to follow anyone who just got a puppy. There’s only love there.

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Natalie

Hi! I am so glad you stopped by. I am a writer, wife and frequently overwhelmed momma to two young kids. This site is about my own experiences with anxiety and depression and explores ways that we can work toward finding ourselves after having children.