Words by: Ruby Ellam Art by: Amanda Jambu
Let’s face it, we’d rather not admit how much time our eyeballs have spent glued to our social media as of late.
If it wasn’t true before, then the whole ‘quarantine’ business has solidified our affection, disgust and obsession with the digital world. Run of the mill FOMO and jealousy have converted into “am I baking enough banana bread?” “Why does she look so good during lockdown?” “Should I post my panic-induced fringe to acclimatise everybody, or should I hope it’s gone by the time the virus is?” Or as I’ve been personally wondering, “will my friends cut me out when they find out I never watched Tiger King?”
If you ask me, a social media upheaval may be long overdue. But how exactly do we trim the topiary of toxicity you ask? Well, let me give you some advice:
Unfollow any account that makes your insides churn; be it an impossibly perfect influencer, a once-loved meme page that has devolved into an ad-machine or that weird friend from high school who is now touting racist coronavirus conspiracy theories on Facebook. Don’t worry about what your ex is going to say when you unfollow them. If they make your feed less than pleasant, then what can I say other than cut that bitch out!
Replace those negative accounts with wholesome content producers that you can count on for a mood boost. Need some examples? Check out @ofsds or @cumlord_official for your daily dose of puppy love. If you want to retain the aesthetic value of your feed without indulging in influencer drama, check out floral designer and photographer @doan_ly or art history orientated @classicalartdetails. Just in case you simply can’t resist the drama, @reductress provides satirical news headlines that poke fun at everyone, helping to release some of the tension we feel reading the daily news.
Set accounts to private to eliminate strangers or bothersome familiars causing unnecessary stress. Public accounts can be more susceptible to drama or unwanted attention — even fielding cringey DMs from creeps can become utterly draining. This reminds me, dating apps are social media too! Don’t forget to use them as cautiously as any other.
Utilise your phone’s inbuilt screen time monitoring. Alternatively, download an app that tracks or limits your social media intake. I recommend checking out
‘Offtime’ or ‘Moment’, applications that confront you with the actual amount you spend each day on your phone. Some of these tools also let you block out distractions or restrict the hours in which you can access social media. This is especially helpful if you find it hard to fight the urge and can’t stay away through willpower alone. No judgement, I do the exact same thing.
Delete all your social media apps for a week. Tell the important people to contact you via text or calls and literally remove the applications from the phone. Don’t just logout, make those apps shake, press the little ‘x’ in the corner and completely unplug from social media for those seven days. When your banishment is complete, only redownload the applications that caused genuine discomfort to be away from. You’ll be surprised what you can live without.
Destroy your phone. If it’s all too much, choose your mental health and wellbeing over digital content.