Photo courtesy of Hispanicize

We can’t lie to ourselves: our social media is our daily bread and butter. From the time we wake up until we get ready for bed, our brains are used to us checking our favorite platforms over and over again.

But how good is this really?

According to recent research commissioned by the Dove Self-Esteem Project, two out of three girls spend an hour or more on social media, and one in two claims that the content they consume affects their self-esteem.

From playing sports and swimming to visiting the doctor, going to school, or just offering an opinion, anxiety about their looks can keep girls from living life to the fullest. 

For millennials, who grew up with MySpace profiles full of color and music, knowing how to recognize healthy and objective content from toxic content is more difficult than ever. We can only imagine what this might be like for younger generations.

However, there are ways to take a break and detoxify what we consume. Here are some ways to clean up your feed:

Review the accounts you follow and triage

Is it imperative to follow that person? How much is that account nourishing your life and spirit?

These are just a few questions you can start with when it comes to cleaning up your following and followers. Whether on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Tik Tok, you are lord and master of what you consume. Empower yourself and unfollow what isn’t bringing you joy.

No one is forcing you to follow or post

Whenever you feel the urge to post content or follow someone, ask yourself: Who told me to do it? Sooner rather than later, you’ll realize that it’s all in your head and that there really is no obligation to follow in the infinite loop of the algorithm.

Moreover, hack the system and search directly for content through tags that refer directly to what you are interested in and forget about the platform’s suggestions.

And for those who suffer from notification phobia: there are ways to eliminate them.

The pressure we feel from receiving messages can be overwhelming, but, again, no one is forcing you to respond when you don’t want to. Silence accounts, clear your feed, and take a break to spend some time in the real world. You’ll see the beauty you’ve been missing.

Log out

We know that FOMO is real. But so are anxiety and social angst. Do the exercise of taking a break and logging out of your social media for three to five days, and you’ll see the thoughts in your head calm down.

Remember that the real world is out there, that social media toxicity is real, and that the power to have a higher quality of life is in your hands.