WHY I CHOSE TO UNFRIEND AND UNFOLLOW

  • AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Growth, Story

    8 Comments

    I did something recently that I thought I’d never do.  I unfollowed somebody I knew on social media. (*Gasp*)

    For years, I have toyed with the notion of implementing a Facebook purge.  For years, I have considered the great social media cleanse that so many others perform on a regular basis.  Usually I like to keep my options open though and keep the possibility of checking in with friends that have become distant acquaintances.  Besides, I imagine it would be awkward when you initially unfriend somebody and then you have to refriend (let’s pretend that’s a word) them when you get back into contact with them.

    The reason I stopped following them?  Jealousy.

    I chose to block somebody from my feed because I noticed that jealousy was becoming more common place in my own heart.  I noticed the much talked about link between social media and jealousy became true in my heart, you know that trend mentioned in articles every so often.  Sadly, those became a reality in my own life, and it prompted me to look down on my own life.

    It is true though, that social media does promote shared experience through funny photos and witty comments, which I love.  However, the flipside of that is the fact that all we usually see of our friends online are the bright polished side of the individual.  We don’t see the fights that were a prelude to the nice family pictures.  We don’t see the credit card bill approaching a balance of five digits that paid for that dinner at the fancy restaurant.  The trip to Hawaii that looked so incredible on your news feed was really a trip away from domestic chaos.

    In one of my favorite films, George Bailey was given a new sense of appreciation for the life he had at the close of the film It’s a Wonderful Life.  Quite honestly I take the many blessings I have for granted when I compared myself to another person’s highlight-reel life.  Certainly, I have my share of fights, breakdowns, uncertainties, and horrible events, but I know that God has blessed me with so many good things.  Through this event, I learned to be proactive in rooting out causes that might inflame jealousy in my own heart.  I genuinely hope that that person lives it up in every way possible and I wish them the best.  For me?  I need to cut out envy and live the life God has called me to live.

    That’s why I did the unthinkable, and chose to click the unfollow button.

    How do you battle social media jealousy?

    **BONUS** Chris Peek offered another reminder at Trail Reflections on this topic.  He wrote about the necessity of praying for others (great thought, right?).  Peek wrote, “Whether the thoughts about another individual are halting your progress or you recognize their self-destructive ways when they don’t, give it over to God.”  A great reminder, I don’t have to compare myself to that individual, I need to focus on Christ and my growth in Him (and bring that person to God in prayer).

  • InciteFaith

    Jeremy,

    Appreciate your honesty in this post. 🙂

    A few months back I unsubscribed to a popular online blog because a hint of jealousy crept in and I started comparing my writing to theirs. So, I made the decision to stop reading. While I didn’t unfollow or unfriend them, I was tired of living in the shadow of their success.

    It’s rough. When you have passion for something like writing and we live in a culture of consumption, it’s easy to fall into the deadly trap of envy. But, keep in mind — God gave YOU specific gifts and talents useful for HIS kingdom. Use them. And if you start getting jealous, disconnect and reconnect to the source of your success: Christ. He created you for a purpose, don’t let someone else steal your spotlight.

    Keep writing and stay focused!!

    • You are so right Julie, it’s tough to not compare yourself with other people, especially it’s in a category you’re aiming for.

      I remember someone telling me that I don’t have to compare myself to other people, like Mozart, or Dickens, or ___________. God wants me to be me, and use my talents where I’m at in my own life. God wants me to be faithful in my own situation, not comparing myself to the other people. I’m not going to be Bach, I need to be me!

      • InciteFaith

        I think whoever told you that deserves a cookie 🙂 Keep writing, Jeremy!!

  • Hey Jeremy, thanks for sharing my quote and blog! You hit one something that I’ve written and thought about a lot lately – the fact that we see the best image (usually) of people on social media and don’t see the struggles, hurts, and pains as often. It sounds like you’ve made the right decision. Sometimes I think we keep people around just for the sole reason of appearing like we have a lot of friends, even though we may have never interacted with them.

    • That’s a nice parting challenge. Maybe I should think about removing some people from the virtual world!

      • It’s a challenge to myself, no doubt. I’m slow to “get rid” of digital friends for the same reasons you mentioned above.

  • Kerry Kimble

    Here I thought this ‘social media envy’ was more prevalent within women! You and your husband look perfect, your hair is perfect, your kids are perfect, you still manage date night, you bake, you sew, you craft…etc. etc. However, I need just stop and be thankful and content with what I have and where my life is in the moment. I appreciate your honesty Jeremy– it’s truly refreshing!

    • Glad it was helpful! God raised the issue of coveting in the 10 Commandments because we are predisposed to it, even men (at least this one). I’ve been trying to find this incredible piece on social media envy that someone wrote but can’t find it anywhere. It’s this hilarious story of what a mom did before and after the “perfect” pictures and status updates. She made perfect waffles for the kids, only after having a meltdown early in the morning. They took a great picture, only after road rage.