By Mairead Rodgers, RD, PHEc
Raise your hand if you’re on any kind of social media of some description (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). Keep that hand raised if you are on multiple social media apps. Keep your hand raised if you feel like you spend too much time of social media sometimes. Pat yourself on the back if you found this post through social media.
How do the things you see on social media make you feel? Do they make you feel happy? Inspired? Do they teach you something? Do they make you feel frustrated? Bad about yourself? Angry? Annoyed?
I’m asking lots of questions today, but are you familiar with Marie Kondo? (Bet you never thought that question would come up in an email from a CrossFit gym!) If you don’t, her method to decluttering your house is to get rid of thing that do not spark joy, and keep only the ones that do. So I decided to start following the same kind of principles to my social media feeds.
At the end of the day, even if what we’re seeing on social media is frustrating us and making us unhappy, we choose most of what we put there. We can choose to unfollow anything that is not “sparking joy” or is dragging your down or making you feel bad.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the things that spark joy for me on social media:
- friends and family crushing their goals
- random strangers crushing their goals and encouraging others to do the same
- pretty food
- healthy recipes
- well-organized pantries
- pretty bookshelves
- fitness memes
- dogs and baby goats
Things that don’t spark joy for me on social media that I’ve been making a point not to see:
- body shaming of ANY KIND
- fad diets or diet products
- anyone encouraging others to eat in a disordered way or spreading mis-information about nutrition
Your lists might be completed different than mine (not everyone loves baby goats). But the point is that you get to choose whether what you see on social media makes you feel good or not. We create our own social media feeds. We choose who and what we follow. If something if bothering you on social media, you can unfollow that person. You don’t have to see what they post. (Heck, if it’s someone you know on Facebook, you can unfollow so you don’t see what they post but still be friends and they’ll never know!) If we’re going to waste time on social media, it should inspire us, teach us (maybe) and make us feel good about ourselves.