What happened when I unfriended people on Facebook

In this day and age, we are able to build and maintain relationships across the globe thanks to technology and social media. Which made me curious to ask: what is your relationship with social media? I gotta tell you, I have had a love-hate relationship with it. While it’s a great way to stay connected with people and even find some entertainment, it can be a stomping ground for distraction, comparison, and sometimes (maybe even moreso in these times) negativity. A few years ago when I was going through rough times, that was what social media was for me: It made me feel worse about myself. The people who seemed to brag about their super happy lives made me upset that I didn’t have that. The people who complained on social media made me want to complain too. And I usually did (how overwhelmed I was, how much I was working, how tired I was as a new mom…). When I realized social media was sending me into a negative headspace, I made a random choice to quite literally unfriend 600 of my 700 Facebook friends (all people who I personally knew and had in-person interactions with) and stopped posting for a while. My friends (and especially my husband to this day) thought I was crazy, but that’s what I needed at the time. Truth be told, some people may be upset with me for unfriending them, so I possibly damaged some friendships in the process. But again, I had to detach from that fear and guilt because that’s what I needed.

Once I was able to get myself to a better headspace (which is a whole different story that I share in my book – about which I swear I’ll share more details about next week!), I started adding more friends again. Some of the friends who I unfriended were added back (and there were some funny conversations that came out of that, because as you can imagine it was a bit awkward), and new friends – but all these people met certain criteria.

The reason why I share this story leads to two main points I want to share:

  • You have a choice on who you add to your social networks, both online, and in person. (In other words, you don’t have to be in a relationship with someone out of obligation.) Be intentional about the people you keep in your circle.
  • Find and build relationships with those who make you the person you want to be.

There are certain attributes of many of the friends I now have in my circle – they’re positive thinking, fun, they prioritize a well-rounded and fulfilling life, enjoy adventure, and they do inspiring things for the world that push me to chase my dreams. Their attributes align with some of my top personal values: Fun and Accomplishment.

So here’s your action step for this week: look through your relationships: family, social, professional, etc., both online and personal relationships, and ask yourself: how do these people add value to your life? What comes up when you do this? And if this brings up some triggers that you want to explore further, definitely reach out to me – I can help.

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The Cheerful Mind