Take Back Your Social Media

Artwork: Maddy Brown
Edits by Rachel Chopping

There’s a buzz on my phone, and my workout app unapologetically dings ‘You’ve been missing for a while, start again this week?’

 

It’s been two weeks since I touched that app, and I sure as hell can’t be bothered to start now. But, by the will of guilt (and guilt alone) I plug in my ear phones and kick on with Spotify’s greatest playlist: ‘motivational speeches’. Ten minutes later I am reborn, convinced that one more push up forms the building block of a ninja warrior.

 

I’ve tried this a million times and the mindset lasts for less than an hour. Soon enough, I find myself lying on the ground, and a Will Smith-sounding guy whispers over an Avengers backtrack, ‘you are what you consume.’ He’s not talking about food, and boy does he have a point.

 

You want a lasting mindset? Cut out the crap. Social media is a wonderful thing, but without the right approach it’ll rub your soul down raw and leave you with TikTok trends and an intimate knowledge of the perfect pose. What I learned in that workout was that if that is what you consume, then that is what you’ll grow. And in ten years, you’ll take a sobering look at your harvest.  

 

Mindless consumption is the basis of media platforms. It’s why companies invest heavily in social media advertising, and why our cookies mean so much to them. They make millions because we don’t even think about it. While their perspective is ever-expanding, ours is shrinking to the size of a screen that fits ever so neatly in our pockets. It’s an open cut datamine and we are the product.

 

But the power of social media lies in the fact we can actively construct our mindset. We have the choice when it comes to who we follow and engage with. Once you select those things, once you actively turn your mind towards them, we take back the power. All that’s left is to scroll, read, and grow.

So here it is, my list for Instagram’s seeds of greatness.

 

  • Need sanity? Try following Jay Shetty to help keep your mind in check (or other accounts that actively reinforce your values)
  • We live in a polar world. Stay informed and follow a range of news providers (go global, find competing opinions so you can sift out fake news, search for truth and use logic and reason to find it)
  • If there’s a page that puts you down with unhealthy comparison, virtually burn it with an unfollow (if you’re aggressive, block away)
  • Think about which friends grow your mindset or cut it down. Keep contact, but in a loving way feel free to mute them on Instagram (mmhmm put yourself first and your future self will thank you)
  • Think of where you want to be in five or ten years, then go follow people or accounts in that position (soon it won’t be an abstract interest, you’ll be able to ramble for hours on topic)

There are 95 million Instagram posts every day. Every single day.  If we don’t sift through it, we are at the mercy of its content. This content can steal time towards our development, or it can foster it.

My explore page is currently filled with dancing teenagers, memes ‘we can all relate to’ and the right way to style a slip dress. In ten years I’ll be 32, and I hope those are the last things on my mind. Now I’m just waiting for my explore page to change, and my knowledge to build.

Maybe the first step isn’t subconscious, but very soon it will be. Keep your gaze pointed ahead and invest in yourself – it’s about time we take back control.

 

 

 

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