Social media is wild, absolutely wild. It’s a force of nature that we treat as the annoying storm that never passes, but really, it’s a waking tsunami filled with inspiration, motivation, and community. It’s indubitably the ceaseless war between left and right, positivity and negativity; it’s your side, my side, yet is it ever the truth? Social media has the power to grow the smallest of feats and the ability to take down even the strongest of foundations.
Social media is everyone’s frenemy.
It’s that person you keep close to you out of fear of what will happen when out of sight, it’s the person that sometimes when you let your guard down with them you find they’re actually not that bad, but it’s also the person that you do let your guard down with… and it’s exactly what you expected: your words get twisted and shared, your meaning lost, and your venting rant falls into the ears of a snake, it’s now something that can never be erased… the way others view you now tainted.
I grew up in a weird transitioning stage of technology. My first phone was a Cingular flip phone, with no camera, I had a trove of VHS tapes, portable DVD players were the shit, and I got a Facebook when I was in sixth grade (2006) then a Myspace the following year – oh, was my mom mad about the socials.
In these early years of social media and multimedia messaging, parents and teachers alike were quick to preach to us all, “What you post and what you text lives on the internet forever, be careful!” As we grew up, ‘be careful’s morphed into, “Your job looks at your social media as much as they look at your resume, think about your future!”
So, I’ll say it again – social media is wild.
It has single-handedly fired up civil rights movements, kept these movements relevant, and it’s created community. Everyone can find a community on social media, they can learn about causes they never even knew to care about, they can find an account to follow with the right inspiration they’ve been looking for. Across the board between Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, the limit does not exist with how you can shape, reshape, and reshape again, what your feed and what your personal brand looks like.
If you feel your socials are one note, or too political, or too this, or too that… change up your algorithm.
Go through the accounts you follow, the people you’re friends with, and follow/unfollow – get things off your feed that don’t bring you happiness, advance your knowledge, or aid in personal growth.
Instagram was an easy cleanse – I unfollowed a lot of the random meme accounts and celebrities and then asked myself what I wanted to see, what I needed to see, during moments throughout the day when I take my IG scroll breaks. Do I want to see what food people are eating? Or how about the same dumb meme with knock-knock-joke level humor shared one million times across like 10 accounts? Heck, no! I wanted some finer scrolling content, thank you.
I wanted quality, inspirational, powerful content. After each scroll break, I wanted to feel rejuvenated and ready to take back on the world. I wanted girl power content, I wanted spiritual content, astrology out the ass content… I followed accounts like The Female Hustlers, Black Female Therapists, Oh That Witch Again, and Taurus Scopez.
With Facebook, I felt a bit more conflicted on how to cleanse as I’m not typically one to randomly delete people – which is the standard way to cleanse these days. I generally feel that deleting people isn’t really erasing the problem, and I also think it’s important to try to put yourself in other’s shoes whenever possible. So by not deleting people, I get to do this, attempt to somehow see the world through their eyes – what they come across on their timeline, decidedly resonate with, and then go as far as to share onto their own platform… it says a lot about them. What one shares on social media is very telling about how they are as a person.
FYI this is me lowkey admitting that I psychoanalyze what most everyone posts 😉
Ultimately, my Facebook solution was to actively go through and make sure I was following, like actively going to profiles and hitting the follow button, those friends who have a good rep in terms of posting a wide range of content. My second solution was to find private groups to join. My top favorite groups that keep my Facebook feed filled with Grade A quality content are The Solo Female Traveler Network and Road to 100 Countries. Both pages keep my feed adequately filled with people’s personal travel stories, their tips, and overall inspo to get out, travel, face any fears and knock down any barriers.
So as wild as social media is, I think we must face that it’s something you can’t really ignore or pretend doesn’t matter in this day and age. You just can’t. So, take this frenemy by the horns and own it – make it what you want, because while you can’t ignore it, you can certainly tell it what to do.
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