Over the past few weeks I’ve been aware of myself getting irritated or upset by things I read on Facebook (we’ve all been there, right?). Sometimes posts or photos trigger my anxiety, make me angry or not feel good enough. For a while I blamed it on others, after all they’re the ones posting it and making me feel so negative! But then I realised, hang on, it’s my account and I’m choosing to look at this. I guess there’s the argument that we ‘accidentally’ see it just because it’s there, not because we want to. I didn’t want to delete my account because of all the memories it holds and the positive distraction it is for me sometimes. I wasn’t going to let my anxiety make me dramatically delete it all! I had a bit of a realisation…
I know that I can’t control what other people post, but I can choose whether I want to be exposed to it. Facebook is designed so that we can be friends with who we CHOOSE and follow what we WANT, so why do most of us just put up with seeing things that provoke negative feelings? Most of us check our FB daily, so that’s repeated exposure to things we don’t want to see. I don’t want to trigger unnecessary unhappiness every time I scroll through my FB… So I’m making some changes!
I’ve started trying these 3 things to help my FB become a more positive place:
Come on, let’s admit it…We all have certain friends or groups on FB constantly posting things that affect us every time. But when they’re someone you work with, go to school with or see regularly, you can’t exactly ‘unfriend’ them just to stop seeing their posts (AWKWARD!) This is where my favourite button comes in, ‘unfollow’. Unfollowing someone means you will remain friends, but their posts won’t come up on your newsfeed. Just click the arrow right of their post, and choose unfollow. EASY, you avoided the awkwardness of unfriending, and now control whether you see their posts!
- WOULD I CHAT TO YOU IN TESCO? – NO? -UNFRIEND
Yes, this is a little more dramatic, but if you’re using my criteria, they probably won’t even notice. Now and then I will go through my friends list, asking myself, would we stop and say hello on the street or have a chat in Tesco? If not, then why on earth are we friends on FB. If I can’t comfortably go up and talk to them in the real world, why have I got them as a friend in the FB world? If they don’t fit this criteria, UNFRIEND!
- DON’T FEEL GUILTY – Filter your Facebook
At the end of the day, it’s your FB; you’re the one that looks at it. If there’s a group chat that you want to leave, then leave it. If there is someone you don’t want as your friend, unfriend them, if someone is upsetting you, block them. You shouldn’t have to deal with unnecessary negativity, everyone has their own choices; there’s nothing wrong with filtering your Facebook.
I always think we need to spend less time looking down at our phones and more time looking up. But, social media does provide free communication, updates, access to news and sharing of experiences, (access to my blog!), among many other things! … As long as we aren’t on it all day or worrying about how many likes a selfie gets, and we use it in a positive/productive way, then it can actually be really useful!
I’m not the greatest with technology, so if I can access these features of FB you can too. No excuses – take control of your FB.