You log into Instagram and the first thing you see is a negative post and it throws off your whole day. All day, you can’t stop thinking about the terrible post that you saw earlier. No matter how you try to distract yourself, you still keep thinking about that specific post. This was me last year and I would find myself going down a rabbit hole of posts that made me feel even worse. It left me feeling fearful, depressed, and that there was no safe place in this world. It’s a horrible feeling and I’m sure you don’t want to feel like that. While you can’t manually control what other’s post, you can choose to not follow them. If social media has taken a toll on your mental health and causes you to feel depressed or sad, it might be time for an Instagram follower refresh.
INSTAGRAM FOLLOWER REFRESH
An Instagram follower refresh is when you go through the people you currently follow on Instagram and unfollow anyone who constantly posts disturbing things or things that make you feel uncomfortable. You should be able to enjoy your social media experience without someone coming in and disturbing that. A refresh allows you to decide what you want to see on your feed and in your explore page.
Doing a refresh will help you to declutter your Instagram and to only see things you actually want to see. This can help improve your social media anxiety and you don’t have to worry about logging into social media everyday and seeing something that throws your whole day off. If you don’t want to unfollow a certain person, but you want to stop seeing their posts, then you can mute their posts and stories and they would never know.
INTERACT WITH POSTS THAT YOU LIKE
The great thing about the Instagram algorithm is that it feeds you what you respond to. If you are liking a lot of pictures of something you actually like and commenting under those specific posts, then Instagram will continue to feed similar posts. Instagram’s main job is to make you stay on their app as long as possible and this is how they do that. If you don’t use Instagram, they don’t make money. For example, if they see you liking posts on travel, then they will keep feeding you posts on travel.
THE NEGATIVE POSTS CAN BECOME ADDICTING
Last year was rough with the political division in this country and a string of racial events that took place last year. It was making me depressed and sick to my stomach, but it was like I was almost addicted to getting the latest information. Next thing I knew, I was two or three hours deep. By the time I would get off social media, I would just sit in my depression thinking of all the chaos ensuing all over America. It got so bad, that I would wake up the next day and do it all over again. I would internalize everything I saw and I would feel all the negative emotions at once.
I hated feeling like this and I hated seeing all the killings and violence. It just went on and on until I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore. I realized that I could choose to not see this information. This is when I decided to unfollow a lot of pages that only posted negative things. I started interacting with posts that made me happy like travel, fashion, food, and black art. I followed a lot of pages and influencers that focused on these topics.
Eventually, my feed and explore page became just about those things. Even when a negative post slipped through the cracks, I would select not interested. I changed what I wanted to see and am so grateful that I did. I no longer fear logging on social media and seeing the worst. I know when I go on, I’ll see things that make me happy and things I actually want to see.
THIS IS NOT AN AVOIDING TACTIC
I don’t do this to avoid or ignore the harsh realities of this world, but if you are an empath like me, you know how easy it is to internalize the pain of others and to fully let that pain encompass your entire being. This is something I easily do before I can even try to stop it. This is why I couldn’t continue to let this happen. It was messing with my mind and making me feel ill. If something bad happens and I want to learn more, I have the option of doing more research, but only through Google and never through Instagram. I decide what I can handle consuming.