We are finally continuing in our Minimalism Ruins Series with how minimalism ruins social media. This is something I have wanted to write about for a long time, because I feel that so many believe their value is based on what others share on social media. [I have fallen prey to this myself.]
You do not necessarily have to become a minimalist to become aware of the dangers of social media, but the enlightenment it adds to it helps in many ways. Having minimalism ruin social media is actually a great thing! It helps you see clearly and identify the flaws behind a culture that is determined to put your value in the amount of followers you accumulate, how pretty your Instagram feed is, or how trendy you are. It is very dangerous to fall into this trap, so I am going to share with you how minimalism helps me avoid it.
Minimalism Ruins Social Media
The first thing we need to do is open ourselves up to the idea of allowing minimalism to ruin social media. We need to evaluate where we stand with our social media accounts, determine if we enjoy them, and what needs to change. Once you have done this, then you will know exactly what to do with the following information.
The 1st Effects Minimalism has towards Social Media
- The promotion of consumerism is more visible // The first thing that I noticed more was how many consumerist based posts flooded my news feeds. There are several avenues of which these come from, including ads, sponsored posts, friends sharing good deals, etc. No matter which social media platform I am on consumerism is there.
- The number of people you follow seems rather high. // One major reason people are minimalists is to live a life of intention. You begin to ask if the people you follow are followed by intention or obligation or what was the reason for the follow. Then you start looking through who you follow and you begin to wonder why you are following so many people, pages, groups, etc. It can be rather overwhelming once you realize all of these people are influencing you journey by intention or not.
- The people I follow are not inspiring me. // Over time, your inspiration may change. For most people who enter into a minimalism journey, this can be a big change. Suddenly, people who inspired you before no longer do. Realizing this change and making a plan to incorporate this change is perfectly okay.
- The amount of time it takes consumes. // It is so easy to keep scrolling and scrolling on any social media platform. It can consume 20 minutes before you know it. If this happens several times throughout the day it seems like the entire day was lost and you have no idea where it went.
Noticing all of this can be a bit overwhelming. You may want to stop using social media for a time just to get away from all of the things never noticed before becoming a minimalist. Besides a taking break, there are a few things you can do to reduce this feeling of overwhelm. These are all things I have done to help me enjoy social media in a more intentional way.
How to reduce the overwhelm
- Declutter companies and brands you follow // The first place to start in reducing your overwhelm is definitely by decluttering which companies and brands you follow. Most companies consistently push coupons or promotions to make you feel like you need to purchase something because it is “on sale”. I guarantee you that 99 out of 100 times you do not need whatever is being promoted, but you feel the urge because it is there in front of you and you do not want to miss out on a sale. Decluttering the companies that consistently push sales or promotions will give you a big sigh of relief. The constant push of needing to purchase this or that will diminish greatly, and your pocket book will thank you!
- Declutter your “friends” // A few years ago, I had an abundance of “friends”. When I realized that I did not really know these people, the abundance of these “friends” overwhelmed me. Decluttering people I did not really know was easy. It took some time, but I was able to reduce my 2,000 Facebook “friends” significantly. I currently only have about 460 friends that are all friends and family that I enjoy connecting with on a regular basis. Besides barely knowing someone, I did declutter people that only complain or post inappropriate things all the time. My goal is to have a friends list that is encouraging, fun, and personal.
- Unfollow people, pages, groups who do not align with your values // Of course, not everyone you follow align with your values. However, if you are bothered by their message or the things they share each time they post, then maybe it is time to unfollow. If you cannot remember the last time someone inspired you or made you feel something positive, it is time to unfollow them.
- Follow people who inspire you // Another problem you may be having is that you are not following enough people that inspire you. I know this sounds counter productive, but hear me out please! When you start your minimalism journey, you are more than likely not being influenced by many minimalists on your social media platforms. Take some time and find some people who you think will inspire you on your journey. If you see inspiring and motivational posts more often on your social media platforms, odds are you will enjoy the platform more.
- Schedule your time for social media // Take control of the time you spend on social media. Give yourself specific times that you check social media. You may be surprised to see how much time you gain back in your day.
- Take a break // If you still feel overwhelmed with social media after taking action to reduce it, a break may be needed. Taking a break allows you to refresh and reset your mindset. You may decide that you do not need to be on the social media platform at all or you want to declutter who you follow even more. Taking a step back allows you to gain a fresh perspective to determine exactly what you need.
- Deactivate an account // If you are decluttering who you follow and keep wondering what the point is in the social media platform, you may not need to be on it at all. Most platforms give you 30 days to reactivate your account before it completely disappears, but double check me on that. Twitter is a platform I do not understand and have no desire to keep trying, so I deactivated it. So far, I have no regrets and no plans to reactivate it!
Minimalism ruins social media in a way that inspires you to live more in the present. Realizing that 10 years ago we did not have smartphones and all of these social media platforms is crazy! Why did our society change to think that we had to be on every platform and/or follow all of these people for whatever reason?
We care more about what others think and let our mental health suffer because of it. But why??? It is okay to put yourself first, especially when it comes to something that is a luxury in life. So I challenge you to take control of who you allow to influence you and which platforms you are using.