Social media is an interesting beast. It has the power to connect you in ways we could only dream about 20 years ago. You simultaneously get to stay connected to friends from your past, acquaintances from the present, and open the doors to meeting new interesting people every day. And while all that connectivity can be a wonderful thing, there are some seasons in our lives that it can become a breeding ground for toxicity.
It’s no secret that the engagement and baby announcements come flooding in as we enter the holiday season. From Thanksgiving to New Years, it seems every time we log in, someone on our feed is happily announcing some life-altering news. And while that’s all fun and exciting, if your heart is in a fragile state for whatever reason: break up, infertility, job loss, or any other foundation shaking trauma, those happy little announcements can twist your insides and send daggers into your already broken heart.
And yet, we keep going back for more. If you’re nodding your head along here and shouting omg this is so me at the computer right now, hang with us. We’re going to do our best to provide you with some tips on how to survive your holiday social media feed.
Remind yourself it’s nothing personal
In real life, the people closest to you often take your feelings into consideration before doing something. A newly pregnant friend may share with you that she’s pregnant over coffee with compassion and empathy, knowing your battle with infertility. She may say; this is hard because I know your struggle, but I couldn’t not tell you.
But on social media, the announcement is not for any one person. It’s for themselves. It’s for all those people in their lives with whom they otherwise don’t connect regularly.
It’s easy to assume malice in those situations, twisting intentions until it becomes a personal attack on your struggle. As the wise Miguel Ruiz states in his book, The Four Agreements, whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… nothing other people do is because of you. iI is because of themselves.
Give yourself permission to opt-out
We know this may be shocking news (we kid), but social media isn’t a requirement. Sure, it’s forced its way into our daily lives, but you can choose to take a break if it’s no longer serving your happiness. Take a moment to determine if participating in social media is worth the internal peace you’ll trade. If every time you log on your heart gets ambushed and mangled, give yourself permission to remove the negativity from your life. It doesn’t have to be forever, but a break does us all good sometimes.
Filter your facebook feed
If quitting all together makes you break out into cold sweats, consider filtering your feed. You can filter your feed to control what you see. Maybe for the holiday season, you only let yourself see updates from the people who are in your close circle. They’re likely to take your heart into consideration before posting anything (or at least warn you first). Facebook breaks down how to filter your feed here.
Whatever you’re going through this holiday season, remind yourself that it’s okay to protect your heart. You’re allowed to choose what you let in and what you don’t. Taking care of your emotional well-being has to be priority number one because no one will do it for you. Do what’s best for you.