Here’s what I’ve learned from my recent conversations with several friends. Not the “I-don’t-really-know-them” friends, but real friends. The friends I call and talk to, get together frequently, and more often than not discuss all the problems away.

Since the beginning of Pandemic, there’s a common thread I’ve heard over and over.

“I’m so sick of Facebook. It gives me anxiety just thinking about it.”

“Social Media sucks up my time and I’m mostly miserable when done. Have you seen the movie, The Social Dilemma? Scary!!!”

“I would never even go to Instagram, but I feel like I have to because of my business. Everybody says so.”

We are social animals. We need to belong and feel accepted in order to thrive. In today’s world, when it comes to socially connecting to our fellow humans, social media has become the substitute for real human interaction. A “thumbs up” has replaced a real smile, a “comment” a heart-to-heart conversation. And the system is failing people left and right.

Yet I don’t think that was the intention of the founders of social media – to make people feel judged, anxious, and disconnected.

Still, that’s the reality for many. Yet we keep going back to it, for all the reasons listed out in the movie The Social Dilemma and then some: desire to be approved, liked and accepted.

Just so we’re clear: I’m not here to tell you to stay away. I’m here to advise how to make your relationship with social media a positive one.

First, ask yourself: What are your expectations of social media? Why do you go there?

Let’s see what your options are:

  • To change someone’s opinions? Sure, why not. As long this (mind you, crazy) activity brings you joy and makes you feel good. If not, that person’s not worth your relationship on Facebook. Here’s your little helper: “Unfriend” button. Be ruthless. Be radical. Be cut-throat.
  • To read someone’s opinions? Sure, why not. As long as those opinions bring you joy and make you feel good. If not, that person’s not worth your relationship on Facebook. Here’s your little helper: “Unfriend” button. Be ruthless. Be radical. Be cut-throat.
  • To see what your friends are up to? Sure, why not. As long as what you see brings you joy and makes you feel good. If not, that person’s not worth your relationship on Facebook. Here’s your little helper: “Unfriend” button. Be ruthless. Be radical. Be cut-throat.
  • To promote your business? Then promote your business. Don’t be a content user, be the content creator.  Someone trolls you and your business? That person’s not worth your relationship on Facebook. Here’s your little helper: “Unfriend” button. Be ruthless. Be radical. Be cut-throat.

Let this sink in: It’s not about the quantity of people in your life, but the quality. Let go of the ones who annoy you to make room for the ones who bring you joy. Some people will be hard to avoid in real life but that’s the one great thing about social media – you’re the boss of your wall, so ‘unfriend’ like one!

If you’re the one who needed permission to ruthlessly unfriend and unfollow people on social media, you’re welcome😊

Photo by Andre Taissin. Thank you!