How to Clear Your Social Media of Toxic Follows
Like many people, I’ve struggled with body issues. Honestly, it’s hard to remember a time when I wasn’t looking at other women thinking: “I would kill for a flat stomach like hers.” “How come my arms don’t look that toned?” “I wish I could wear a tight dress like that.”
And social media made it so much worse.
My feed used to be full of thin, tanned, fit celebs, influencers, and friends that I thought of as inspiration. Reminders to stay on track with my latest diet or to keep up with my lifting and cardio regimens. But instead of motivating me or making me feel empowered, those accounts just brought me down.
Every time I would see a picture of flat, six-pack abs I’d think of my own belly and cringe. Each red-carpet glamour shot would have me tearing down my own pictures, editing them within an inch of reality. Scrolls turned into sadness. Shame. And I didn’t even realize it was happening.
Until I started following Danae Mercer. A travel-journalist turned influencer; Danae’s feed is all about REAL female empowerment. She posts the most unflattering photos of her body with pride, because she truly believes that her body is strong and beautiful no matter how many stretch marks or bloaty days she has. I was floored. “Look at her,” I thought. “She’s gorgeous and she has cellulite. She’s stunning and her belly isn’t perfectly flat.”
The longer I scrolled, the better I felt. And I wanted more. So, I followed more body-positive accounts and started unfollowing all those old “inspirational” ones.
And I’ve never felt better. Sure, I still have days where I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see, but they are much less common than the days that I look in the mirror and spot the good things, the strong things, the real things.
And I want you to feel the same way, too. Whether you need to cleanse your feed of body-shaming accounts like me or you need some other type of Insta overhaul, here’s how to clear your social media account of toxic follows:
Think About Your Feed Needs
Consider how you want to feel during and after a scroll session, then take a second to think about how your current feed actually make you feel. Is there a disconnect? Then fix it!
Just do it! Remove the follows that hurt you, anger you, or otherwise give you trouble. Do this everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Facebook, Insta, TikTok, Twitter, all the places.
Don’t Be Afraid to Block
If there’s one account that just won’t quit with the toxicity, block that bish. Think of the block button as a form of self-care, and perform it daily if you have to.
Take Yourself Less Seriously
It’s so easy to tumble down into the dark hole of Maintaining Your Image. But you know what? You’re not perfect, everyone already knows it, and THEY DON’T CARE. It’s OK to post that picture in which your hair is crazy from the wind, or the one where your thighs are squished on the seat, if the other things happening in that picture mean something to you or make you happy.
After clearing your feed of the accounts that made you feel bad, be really selective with the ones you use to fill it back up. Find accounts that make you laugh, inspire you, teach you things, or just make you smile.