If you’re checking out this blog post to hear about the latest + greatest cleanse or detox to reset your body, ya ain’t gonna find it here. Cleanses/detoxes are not necessary nor are they backed by scientific evidence. Our liver + kidneys do an amazing job keeping our bodies “free of toxins” so that we don’t have to torture ourselves by only drinking green juice.
Anyways, that’s not the point of this post. Today, we’re talking about social media cleanses.
Regardless of your social media platform of choice, we are exposed to thousands of images + words every single day. This makes social media a very powerful channel of communication as we often see with marketing. The problem is when we get bombarded with messages that aren’t positively serving us.
Often, people say the reason for following certain lifestyle pages is for inspiration and motivation. I understand that there can be some value in that, however, I would argue that many times, the same accounts that are supposed to be providing inspiration cause us to tear ourselves down.
It’s become so popular to be fit + healthy + happy [as if these are mutually exclusive, which spoiler alert, they aren’t]. With this popularity comes many social media accounts promoting whatever it is that they claim helped achieve their body, happiness, success, energy level, clear skin, etc. Then we get sucked into thinking that they have it all figured out + we better jump onboard with ’em.
However, jumping on board may often lead to: shaming ourselves, spending extra money on a multi-level marketing product, restricting our food intake, extreme exercise, etc. all masquerading as “self-discipline” or “willpower.” All of these extremes are part of the reason diets don’t work — not because you don’t have enough willpower.
Let’s say someone was working to eat all foods without shame or restriction. It’s not going to be helpful to see an Instagram post raving about cutting out entire food groups + claiming to fix all your problems. Or if you’re trying to focus on loving your body the way it is, seeing a photoshopped image of a woman in a bikini doesn’t always boost you up either.
These seemingly innocent exposures add up over time. Whether we intend for it to happen or not, the messages seep in + we can start to believe them. That’s why a cleanse, in the online sense, can be really helpful. Get rid of the people you’re following who aren’t serving you mentally + emotionally.
You may have heard this quote before:
“The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”
It resonates, doesn’t it? In the example of food pictures, my meals certainly do not always fit the “Instagram-worthy” mold. Because ain’t nobody got time for that. Unless maybe it’s your full-time job to create complex recipes + photograph them in perfect lighting. We just can’t expect our every day meals to look like those of a paid professional. They often have more time + resources than we do in order to make that possible.
For me, if I see someone promoting restrictive diets, fear-inducing fallacies about food / nutrition, unhealthy relationships with exercise, etc. I hit that unfollow button immediately. I’ve learned that it’s simply not worth it. Now, I sometimes forget just how many accounts are constantly pushing those things because I’ve created my own little bubble of social media that brings me joy rather than self-hatred.
Ask yourself why you follow an account. What feelings do their posts typically evoke? Guilt, shame, worthlessness? Unfollow. Be honest with yourself, sometimes it’s hard to admit that an account you used to love or a random friend from high school’s posts are actually causing you more harm than good.
Choosing which accounts make the cut is going to be unique to your situation + history.
Maybe your best friend is promoting the latest + greatest weight loss shake. You might feel obligated to give them a follow or a like. Some platforms, such as Facebook, also allow you to still be an online friend / follower, but choose to “See less” or “Hide posts like these” on your newsfeed. Utilize these settings!
It also works for advertisements that sneak their way onto your pages. You can usually click the top right drop-down menu on the ad + select that this advertisement isn’t relevant to you. Slowly, some of your targeted ads will change to better fit your needs. Every little bit helps!
I encourage you to spend some time cleaning out all your social media profiles. Unfollow accounts that leave you feeling bleh. Spend your precious time looking at more important things — like cute doggies. 😉