Jen believes that eating well shouldn’t be stressful and loves coming up with easy recipes, making food choices that make her feel good, and learning about healthy living.
I haven’t been on Facebook in at least a year and a half. And I don’t regret it.
It definitely puts me in a minority. But let me tell you why.
When I used it, I would I browse through photos and see what people were up to, just as many people do.
But much of the time, I would feel worse afterward.
It always left me with a sinking feeling… from comparing myself to others, wishing I was prettier, thinking that others’ lives looked more fun, and if only I more had self-confidence, my life would be, too… does this sound familiar to you?
There were a few friends’ pages I would regularly visit. But Facebook also makes it easy for you to be a voyeur and browse through friends of friends and acquaintances, (usually) as long as you have been “friended.”
Before I knew it, I would think, What am I doing? This is pathetic! How have I spent so much time on here doing nothing but depleting my self-esteem? And why do I keep doing it?
I finally decided to make my account inactive. I’m not on a Facebook rant here. There is a time and place for it, and I’m not saying I’ll never use it again.
However, if you are not using it as what it was meant to be- a lighthearted online activity- and always end up comparing yourself negatively, you know who you are!
One of my art professors once said that we are a society that is very controlled by images. I’m not sure why I remembered that line, but it’s true.
So, if you are prone to feeling down about yourself after some form of media use, here’s what I’m working on to start taking back control of my mind.
Resentment, bitterness, and jealousy are not emotions I want to knowingly cultivate, if I have the option to just cut off a source.
Your Facebook Account
Make a radical decision, and make it inactive if it has become more of a negative thing for you than positive!
If you don’t feel like you need to take that step, still remember this: everything you see and read are very constructed, even calculated, versions of how people want to present themselves.
Even when I first started researching diet/skin, for a long time I was still guilty of scouring through every glossy magazine I got my hands on, hoping for any kind of tips.
I know, kind of embarrassing for someone who professes an interest in natural health to admit.
Despite how much I hate the way conventional fashion mags portray women, I somehow kept thinking I would stumble upon a miraculous piece of advice.
Needless to say, I was wrong.
They seem to recycle their content- I’m not sure how many times I’ve read that eating more beta-carotene will give you a natural “glow.” Allure, Glamour, Teen Vogue, Vogue, Cosmo… ugh!
But it doesn’t stop there. Even some (but not all) of the magazines that present themselves as an “alternative” to the aforementioned still have a tendency to portray a homogenized version of femininity.
Like Nylon. I might flip through it occasionally for non-beauty related content if I’m at a bookstore, but I would ditch that first group altogether.
Other Online Social Outlets
Do you ever get the feeling that you’re nearly addicted to online habits that aren’t doing your mental health any favors?
There are so many online venues for posting photos and updating the world on your life. Let’s say you know of someone who’s always posting pictures on Twitter, a blog, or tumblr.
You tend to feel envious of this person for whatever reason, but you keep returning. Make a commitment to stop.
In short, make your media use work for you, not against you. 🙂
(Random 2017 Update by Tracy: Check out a chrome browser extension called “Newsfeed Eradicator”. It blocks the facebook newsfeed from showing. So you can still have facebook but you don’t get sucked into it the same way, wasting your time and self esteem! I LOVE IT!)