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John Wilson

Why NOW might be the time to start unfriending and unfollowing

Alt Therapy,Depression

Date : October 25, 2015Comments : 2

How strange, you probably came to this blog post through a social media channel of either Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or even Stumbleupon but yet I am suggesting to improve your mental health you SHOULD consider starting to reassess who is in your friends and what you are following. You may think it sounds crazy but in this blog post I will explain why it is vital for a sense of contentment in your life.


Why you should consider to start unfriending on Facebook

Recent studies suggest that overuse of social media in children damages their mental health but I believe that it is also damaging for adults but in slightly different ways. Social media can open gateways for bullying, isolation, jealousy, life comparison and keeping connection to the past amongst other negative traits.

Through our lives we meet many many people, most are just acquaintances and maybe just a handful are true genuine friends so why then do we feel that we must share our entire lives with everyone we have ever met on Facebook? Why do we feel the 1000 people we are ‘friends’ with would really be interested and do you really want to see what they are doing with their lives or share what you are doing in yours?

When the founder of BoM was recovering from his ill mental health a large part of his condition was due to things not working out in his career and relationship. Working hard for a great education , investing a lot of money resulted in a worse quality of life rather than a much improved one!

Seeing those he went to school with on Facebook doing much better in life without such a high level of education and less debt was painful for him to comprehend and reinforced his feelings of failure and depression (I realize this sounds a bit bitter but anyone in a similar situation would have the same the natural reaction when anyone tried so hard for something, investing a lot of time and money without a positive outcome), then it suddenly occurred to him, he hadn’t seen these people in over ten years, they don’t even communicate through social channels so why the hell are they still in his friends list!?

This is when the light bulb went on in his  head, it’s time to defriend!

Got over 1000 friends…really? Look closer

friends on facebook, time to defriend

So many friends …are they really friends or just people who you have met down the line? How do you feel when you see their news feed update? Does it make you feel good, indifferent or does it bring you down? So why the hell are you still friends!?

Once you get rid of the old school friends you don’t talk to any more next is to get rid of the people who’s news feeds bring you down.

Ok unfriending started but who’s left?

life-864389_1280

So you’ve got rid of old friends and the people that make you feel worse after reading their updates so who’s next to bite the dust? Next it is to look closely at your ‘family’ friends. It may sound drastic to unfriend your family but it is what the founder did after it occurred to him a lot of his ‘family’ he had maybe seen once or twice at Christmas, a couple of times at funerals, some more often when growing up but mostly he never saw them yet they could see all about his life without even meeting him!

This seemed completely insane that my extended family could see my entire life without actually speaking to me in person and so...I unfriended all the family members that I don’t see often because if family want to know what is happening in my life I would rather see them and speak to them directly than through a third party social media app.

Defriend people connected to negative past

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Sometimes in the past you become friends with your ex’s friends or family and they stay friends on social channels but is that wise? Or maybe people that are connected to something that brings you down like a past education that didn’t work out can also make you feel bad as it can conjurer up memories of the time and you just can’t let go.

Holding on to friends from a past relationship that ended or friends from a bad life experience, such as an education that didn’t work, can be bad for your mental health as it reminds you of those times you had as it acts as a constant reminder to the memory and will keep your mood and energy levels low.

It’s time to let those past people go.

No old school friends, no negative news posts, no extended family members, no people connected to negative past, anyone else? Facebook Page Likes

So you’ve only a few friends left, these are your ‘genuine’ friends and your ‘close’ family. It may not be the 1000 that made you feel popular before but it is who ‘deserves’ to know everything in and out of your life. But what about the pages that you like ( this could be bad news to suggest for me! ) , have you liked a page that shares negative information or lowers your mood? Do pop stars you follow ever sing songs of negativity, e.g. Adelle or do other pages show their life and how amazing they are rather than adding value and improving your life, for example, the likes of the Kardhashians? Be conscious of the pages that you follow and whether the information they share are going to make you feel good or bad.

Feng Shui your digital social life

defriend now and feng shui your digital life

So now you follow pages that make you feel good, you no longer see your old school friends, the negative posts, the extended family you never see or anyone connected to your negative past I bet you feel a bit more positive the next time you look at your Facebook news feed and if all else fails and you feel bad for unfriending you can always ask to be friends again and just say you were thinking of leaving Facebook but changed your mind, if they were true friends they’ll accept your friendship back straight away anyway!

The founder of BoM decluttered his digital social life when he was recovering from a mental health breakdown and suffering from depression and personally felt an improved sense of being whilst also improving his focus on what matters most which is his own health, his close family, the progress he has made in his own life, to stop comparing his life to others and being totally conscious of what he was feeding into his mind, is it negative or is it positive? His digital life had become a positive outlet through decluttering.

Choose positive connections, erase the negative ones

To finish, here is a video to put social media use into perspective. Social media use can be great if you consciously choose ‘positive outlets and connections’ and its important to realize that everyone’s life may look perfect on the outside just be conscious not many people post their negative experiences and most of all being popular and connected doesn’t matter, contentment of life does!


Author Name : John Wilson

Hi folks! John Wilson is the founder of Battle of Mind and Seek A Therapy and a practising web and graphic designer. Before this John was also a part 1 architect in 2008 but due to the recession found it hard to find part 1 positions so retrained as a teacher only to find that wasn't right for him too...this led to him having a severe breakdown due to excessive debts and no opportunity. He had to refocus himself, his life and how he saw the world. It is with these difficult experiences that Battle of Mind was born and the desire for people to know there is a way out of any difficulty they may be facing. "When things seem to be falling apart they are actually falling together"

2 comments on “Why NOW might be the time to start unfriending and unfollowing

  1. John,
    I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’ve always felt that while someone can have tons of “followers”, it’s important that we all realize who our true friends are. It can also be hard letting go of some relationships due to the fact that we have had them for so long, but sometimes we have to realize that it is better and healthier for us to let them go.

    One thing I don’t totally agree with is letting friendships go because of negative feelings they may bring. For example, sometimes we have to determine why the negative thoughts surface. If we have a friend that is still kind to us and supportive, but we made that friend when we were going through a difficult time in life, we shouldn’t necessarily stop communicating with them since it is not necessarily their fault that they bring up the memory of the bad experiences we had. However, if the person themselves causes us frustration because of their attitude, then that is a different story.

    All in all, I agree with this post. We need to use the internet for positive connection, not negative.

    1. I think I may have written the section about the past friendships in a way that came across wrong, it was a bit similar to my old school friends, we didn’t speak once we had left university. When I went to university to complete my masters I made some friends there but my experience of that particular part of my education was the worst experience of my entire life and was one of the main causes of my eventual breakdown. I didn’t see the point in keeping them on Facebook with not chatting much and so I got rid of them as they reminded me of the university and as I wasn’t keeping in touch it seemed pointless, if you still talked then of course, you should stay friends :).

      I think the key message I was trying to portray is be conscious about who you are friends with on social media and what information you are letting into your mind as you scroll your feed as I felt it did affect my mood and health at times, (particularly in recovery) and focusing on the people that you really care about and getting rid of the ‘noise’ I found to be really beneficial . :)

      Thanks for commenting B.G

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