• Mansha Anand

As Seen On Instagram | Auditing Your Follow List

Image courtesy of Florence Given

(Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those "social media is a menace to society" posts.)

1. Everything you read is not all-encompassing. So while I think the statement on the T-Shirt is the realest thing I’ve read today - it doesn’t mean that everyone on IG is only ever showing a 'fabricated life'.

2. There’s no doubt that unfollowing the people who make you feel inadequate, unworthy or insecure, whether intentionally or not, is unbelievably good for your mental health. BUT the whiny little voice in my head also reminds me that unfollowing people can be a way to ignore another problem ~ being unable to follow people without comparing yourself to them aka THE ultimate goal. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to 'like' a photo for what it is, without trying to rewrite your life to match someone’s seemingly more successful one?

3. Unfollowing isn’t always the answer when (I) do want to support someone but can’t since anxiety makes me question the inner workings of my own goddamn soul and inspires me to forget that I’m looking at this other person’s life from the outside, in. #kickbadhabits

4. Auditing your FOLLOW list regularly is the best way to keep your IG feed fresh and free from all the shit you scroll past, that you never bother liking. It’s also considered a 'best practice' for self-love because you can unfollow everyone who makes you feel less than your best self. Next time you audit though, click all the accounts whose photos never show up on your feed - the ones you don’t bother auditing because ya already know you like the account. Check this ↦ guaranteed those accounts are posting things you’re missing cause of the damn IG algorithm - things you’ll both like and maybe not make you question who you are or if you need to readjust your entire life. Go on those accounts, like their posts and in turn, teach that algorithm what YOU WANT to see, rather than what it thinks you should see. You’ll feel SO much better for it, especially if you spend a lot of time on IG. Seeing these 'likable' posts, over the ones that constantly make you feel like you’re not doing enough, WILL help you rewire the way you think about yourself.

5. Checking out peoples’ posts you might not normally see, will lead you to brilliant stuff like this artwork. Social Media doesn’t have to be depressing. It doesn’t have to BE anything but a place you go, to share what you want to share about your life, and to support people YOU WANT to support. It’s easy to get caught up in the 'instant gratification' of likes and the harrowing thoughts of worthlessness when you don’t get likes. If you’re only paying attention to those accounts that make you question your self-worth based on their number of likes, then you won’t escape the vicious circle of comparison.

❥ In the end, you get what you give out to the world - so give cheesy love and support to the people you choose to follow because that is literally what Instagram is purposed for. And really, name one woman who became unsuccessful by scrolling through Instagram and supporting another women.

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