Friday, 17 June 2016

Why cleaning out your social media account can be as good as cleaning out your closet

Social media - facebook. instagram, tumblr, twitter - you know the rest - are to say the least, places where we express who we are at that moment in time, in that space. And over time they tend to become strange amalgamations of moments of projection as they pass our lives.

There is much criticism of social media on... social media. You need to be blinder than a bat to not see the irony in that. I am not here to advocate for or against social media but just to briefly point out that it is natural for us, over our lifetimes to grow and evolve.

If you're in your twenties or thirties at the moment, you're most certainly not the same person you were ten years ago, and it was around ten years ago that Facebook came to be  (most of us in Africa however, have it for 7 years or  much less). While it can be fun to look at pictures from ten years ago, as we all tended to do in the days of good old picture albums, it may not be in our own self interest to constantly be reminded of how we used to be, not only ten years ago, but last year, last summer or last week.

Social media, in particularly Facebook, constantly reminds us of times bygone. This can be good for us, no doubt, reminding us of happy memories. But it can also be fucking shit.

As it reminds us of who we used to be we often...:

- become nostalgic
We've all gotten those feelings, recalling how we used to look, or what we did, and who we did it with.

-pine for things that are gone
Coupled with the nostalgia we long for things that have passed us by sending ourselves into a suboptimal stupor.

-put on rose tinted glasses
The nature of memories and recollection, unfortunately, is that we omit many many details about the reality of the situation. We put on rose tinted glasses and romanticise people, places and things we would not if we were probably 100% objective.

- are reminded of the past and in the worst case triggered in a negative way
A friend of mine recently mentioned that in the last few years she's had atleast three exes and made the point that facebook's memory function reminds her of things she would rather not remember at all.


- are not present
This is the most important of them all. Combining a little of all the aforementioned factors social media has the potential to detracts from our lived experience in this moment. And in order to be who we are right now we need to detach from those bygone experiences.

For these reasons, I not only think that occasionally cleaning out ones social media account can be worth the tedious scrolling through old photos and posts but is also a little bit like uncluttering your mind. Or cleaning out your closet.

When our clothes date and wear we don't hesitate to let them go. Why should we then hold on to little snippets of our lives manifested by status updates and photographs online. We should do whatever it takes to give us improved peace of mind and a more equanimous environment to love ourselves.

This can involve:

  • Deleting old posts, statuses and photographs. 
  • Unfriending people with no shame. 
  • Blocking people who put you in a bad space and spread their negative vibes. 
  • And, taking ownership of your online space. 

Feng shui that shit so that it works for you!

Go on... Spring clean and compartmentalise a little. Unclutter your online life.
And do it as often as you need.

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