This year, one of my resolutions was to stop following bloggers and influencers on social media that were making me feel bad about myself. It’s not that anyone was influencing an outright feeling of pity or depression, but they created more of an underlying tone of self-doubt. And it was almost as if I couldn’t quite put my finger on the reason I was feeling negative.
But in retrospect, I realized it was often because of Instagram influencers. Now, it’s not that these influencers are bad or toxic people. It’s just that social media has people only sharing the highlight reel of their life and it can really create a façade of perfection.
So, I decided to go through and clean out all the people I was following on Instagram that weren’t adding anything positive to my life. I stopped following influencers who sold a certain lifestyle that I found unattainable, bloggers who travel to beautiful places as if that is their entire life, people who only seem to be modeling and going to photo shoots or beauty gurus that put on perfect makeup and “slay all day.”
I’m tired of being told to “slay this” and “slay that.” It’s exhausting!
Don’t get me wrong. Everyone shares exciting things in their lives. I do it myself. But if someone is solely advertising products and services that portray a perfect life to the point that it’s bringing me down, then I need to stop following such nonsense for my own mental well-being.
Unfollowing all of those bloggers was one of the best decisions I ever made. My sister, Hiba, influenced me to start following people who were positive, motivational, giving advice and who showed a lot more real moments. She started her motivational blog called Hiba Bajo (bajo means big sister in Urdu), based on the positive reinforcement she was able to receive from her mentor who helped her change her lifestyle.
She was inspired by Mel Robbins and her “5-second rule,” which basically says that “there is a window that exists between the moment you have an instinct to change and your mind killing it. It’s a 5-second window.”
So if you want to do something good, anything at all, countdown from five and start it right away. Counting down from five gives you the push you need to stop being stagnant. And I’m so glad my sister gave me that advice. She shares her story with people on her own blog about how she lost 30 pounds in 100 days, what keeps her going when things get tough, and life as an expat living in Qatar. That is the type of energy and encouragement I want to see in my day.
My life has been a lot better ever since I unfollowed those types of influencers. It’s not to say that I don’t like watching makeup videos or product reviews from time to time or that there is anything wrong with it. But I realized that following tons of influencers who share the same kind of content wasn’t something I needed in my daily life. I can search for videos and hashtags when I’m in the need for such things, but scrolling through it mindlessly was unnecessary.
Because of my sister, I started following more motivational and inspirational pages and I am so thankful I took her advice. This has helped me in staying positive and focusing on my goals. For Instagram especially, you should be following people whose values and goals align with your own. This way you stay on task and get that daily push if you start to stray, without the added pressure of achieving a perfect lifestyle.