Why Who You (Un)Follow Matters

Friday, July 14, 2017

I've heard that the five people you spend the most time with influence you the most. I've seen it on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, worded different ways and attributed to a few different people, but the idea is always the same: We become similar to the people we spend a lot of time with. And it's true. We start to pick up some of their habits or quirks, use the same expressions, absorb their energies, whether we realize we're doing it or not. We can't help it. It's natural.

Because of this, it's important that we're careful about who we surround ourselves with. It's important that our friends are good, driven people with big hearts and a sense of humor, so we can be good, driven people with big hearts and a sense of humor.

We know this.

I think what we forget is that the people we follow on social media are "people we surround ourselves with" too.

We scroll through social media a lot. We read a lot of tweets, see a lot of pictures, and take in a lot of information. Be picky about what accounts will show up on your feed. Put the same amount of thought and consideration into who you follow as you would into who you befriend. Limit it to good, driven people with big hearts and a sense of humor.

Also, your tastes will change over time. The posts you want to see and the messages you need to hear will change, so your "follow" list will (should) too. It'll evolve right alongside you.

Don't be afraid to unfollow somebody on social media. It doesn't have to be anything personal. It doesn't mean you don't like the person or their posts. It just means that their content is not what you need right now.

Reasons you might follow someone on social media:

•  Their posts inspire you
•  Their posts comfort you
•  They're pretty and you want to see more of their face
•  You can relate to them
•  Their captions are mini stories that you want to read more of
•  They're your friend / you know them

Reasons you might unfollow someone on social media:

•  You don't find their posts/captions relatable
•  You'd rather follow people you know IRL
•  They're a friend you've lost touch with and at this point are only following out of obligation
•  They post too often for your taste
•  Their posts used to inspire you but now discourage you or don't impact you at all
•  You just felt like it

Social media can be a great thing. It can connect you to people, introduce you to new things, motivate you. At the same time, it can also be damaging, and a big factor in determining how social media is for you is who you choose to follow and surround yourself with. Make it count.

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