Currently I am obsessed with the idea of a minimalist lifestyle although, I am struggling to get rid of a lot of my ‘stuff.’ Because of this obsession, I have been watching loads of YouTube videos on minimalism, reading books and blog posts, plus finding others who have transitioned to a minimalist lifestyle and following them on social media. This led me to Rachel Aust who has a minimalism series on her YT channel.
I watched one of her videos where she mentioned that part of clearing out your ‘stuff’ and moving towards a minimalist lifestyle, is also culling the list accounts you follow on social media. Instagram is the main social media platform that I use and I didn’t think anything of it until a few nights later when I was sitting on the sofa scrolling through Instagram as I usually do, and I realised that I follow so many account’s that create content I did not enjoy anymore. When I go on Instagram I personally want to feel inspired and pictures can inspire me in so many ways. A gorgeous landscape can inspire me to go out and take pictures, images of food can inspire me to get in the kitchen and create a meal or seeing the kind of lifestyle I want can inspire me to work harder to achieve it. Even minimalist interiors and pictures of indoor plants inspire me! When I opened up Instagram on this particular evening, I felt frustrated because I didn’t understand why I was following accounts whose content I did not enjoy. So as I was sitting on the sofa I decided to go through the list of everyone I followed, check out their Instagram feed and if I didn’t like what I saw or they hadn’t posted in a while, I unfollowed. I started off with close to 600 accounts that I was following and I am now down to under 250.
Unfollowing and culling the list of accounts I do follow has been such a relief for me and I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. When I go on Instagram I have found that I actually like so many more pictures than I used to and I feel inspired daily by the content in my feed. I know that so many people wouldn’t be as ruthless as I was because that is just who I am however, unfollowing those who do not put out content that is inspiring for you is such a freeing experience. You have to put your own feelings above everyone else’s when it comes to unfollowing because so many people keep following people they are close to because they don’t want to hurt their feelings. Yes, people close to you are going to be upset when you unfollow them, however it is not anything personal.
On the topic of unfollowing those close to you, unfollowing a friend can be tricky. We live in a world where just because someone is your friend, there is a common expectation that you must follow them on all of their social media accounts, like and comment on their photos and that is what makes you a good friend. To be honest, I don’t see why we need to follow those close to us and like every single thing our friends post however, some have the expectation that because you are friends you have to like everything they post. I feel that if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t want to follow someone that you are close to for whatever reason, if they ask you about it just be honest. Be aware that the person in question may be upset and that they may not understand why you don’t want to follow them. Also understand that you do not have to follow someone on social media to be friends with them.
I don’t believe that every single account you follow on social media needs to inspire you, I talk about inspiration because that is what I want from my social media. I think that social media, Instagram in particular is an amazing platform where we can share beautiful imagery that will hopefully make people feel good about themselves or inspire them. Yes, social media is a curated version of everyone’s life however, in the same way that we all curate content to put out onto social media, we also need to curate the content we see on social media.
Photos taken at Erskine Falls, Lorne