7 types of people to unfollow on Instagram

I regularly update who I follow on Instagram. I do this because I understand that even if it is only in a small way, who I follow impacts me. Social media can have you invested in the lives of strangers, influence you to waste money on things you don’t really want and serve as an unhelpful comparison to judge your life against.

Here are some ideas for who you might want to unfollow on Instagram:

People you don’t know

Following people you’ve never met can lead to learning or even friendship. However it can also result in you being over invested in total strangers. You wonder if something is wrong when they don’t post for a day and keep up with their life with great eagerness but perhaps that time could be better spent doing something else.

People you don’t personally interact with

If you don’t watch their stories and you don’t like or comment on their posts then maybe you don’t need to be following them?

People that constantly want to sell you something

I recently unfollowed a bunch of fashion/lifestyle content creators. I enjoy their content but everyday I was being recommended this amazing product that was equally as good as the one they recommend the day before. And I understand that it’s part of how they make a living, I just realised it wasn’t something I wanted to see so often.

People whose content you don’t find interesting

Sometimes I come across an account that I like the images of and decide to follow. But a few months later if I’m not interested in the content or interacting with it then there’s no keep following the person.

People who make you feel bad

This may be people with more money than you, people that constantly post upsetting content or who post things you can’t afford to buy and places you can’t afford to go. They might not necessarily make you feel bad but if the people you follow don’t make you feel good, then what’s the point? Obviously there is a case for learning to not be impacted by things but the chances are whatever is on social media isn’t important enough to be the thing that teaches you that lesson.

People whose lives you’re not interested in keeping up with

Maybe there is a person you went to school with but haven’t spoken to in 5-10 years. You probably don’t interact with what they post and you have no intentions of rekindling any sort of relationship with them. Keeping up with their life is totally unnecessary because you don’t actually care.

People you don’t agree with

As much as it is good to take in views or opinions that differ from your own, you don’t need to do that on Instagram or social media in general, especially when it’s coming from strangers. You can have conversations in person, watch shows, listen to podcasts or read articles to hear other peoples views.

Let them get it wrong

When teaching someone how to do something, you have to let them get it wrong.

It may be easier to jump in just before the mistake, error or failure occurs and rectify things. But this brings little benefit in the long run.

In the short run, the person may feel supported which is a good thing. But too much support leads a lack of independence and self-reliance. Instead they become reliant on you being there.

It teaches the person that they don’t have to work things out for themselves because someone will come along to make things right. It may also lead to this person not trying because you’ve showed them that you won’t allow them to fail.

The reason you step in before things go wrong is because you want them to get it right. However, you have to give people space to learn things for themselves and that includes getting things wrong.

Responding and reacting

The way you would react when you’re angry, upset, frustrated or annoyed is not the same way you’d respond when you’re calm and relaxed.

Of course this is fairly obvious, yet how many times have you allowed your feelings to get the better of you instead of simply taking some time.

What ends up happening is you regret it later because now you’re calm, now you can see that actually this other person was trying to be helpful, in fact you agree with them. Maybe you look back and feel like the way you reacted didn’t even make sense.

Now that you’re calmer you can play out in your mind, the way you wish you had responded.

And then you can hold onto that and remember it for next time.

Taking advantage of free stuff

We never truly take advantage of what we have access to because we don’t value free stuff.

How many free pdfs have you downloaded?
How many free courses have you signed up for?
How many helpful free YouTube videos have you watched?

How much of that information have you implemented into your life or made use of?

There is an abundance of free stuff out there but the problem is, we don’t value it. Somewhere in our minds we feel like if it has no monetary price then it is not of value.

And we know that this is true because many of us pay for things that we can get for free.

Cheap, easy and accessible

Every once in a while I am reminded of the power of taking a walk in nature.

It is calming, refreshing, relaxing and simple.

If you haven’t done it for a while, I’d recommend it.

You’ll often find that some of the most helpful things are the cheapest, easiest and most accessible. But instead we end up looking to things that are expensive, difficult and challenging to obtain.

I think the reason for this is that we assume that big problems will require big solutions. Or if you’re not ready to work at something, you can use the excuse of the solution being out of reach, something you don’t have access to.

It can be difficult to comprehend that the very thing you need to help make things better, is something you can do right now.

Equally true

Something many forget to consider is that two things can be equally true without one thing being more right or better than the other.

For example, sweets can taste really good whilst also being bad for you.

One person can find something helpful whilst another finds it useless.

You could consider a song to be really good whilst I consider it to be terrible.

There is no rule that statements of truth can’t contradict. Yet we often go out into the world trying to prove that our personal truth is the ultimate truth.

The problem with jumping on the bandwagon

If you won’t care in a few months time then maybe you shouldn’t care at all.

It’s easy to get swept up what everyone else is doing or whatever the popular thing is at that point in time.

It might even be a great cause, helping people or bringing light to something that matters.

However, I think it’s important to ask yourself why you’re joining in. Is it something you care about or do you just want to be a part of something? Maybe you want to be perceived as someone who cares?

You don’t have to care about everything and you don’t have anything to prove.

You don’t have to jump on the bandwagon.

Putting pressure on the outcome

In periods of uncertainty we often put an excessive amount of pressure on a particular outcome.

You tell yourself you’ll be be happy if things turn out one way and that the other outcome will be a disaster.

And of course, in life often one option is much better than the other. However, too much attachment to something you have no control over can have unhelpful impacts.

What happens when things don’t turn out the way you wanted?

I’ve learnt that it is much more helpful to focus on yourself and your own well being and not be so dictated by external influences. That way even when things don’t turn out the way you’d have liked, you’ll still be totally fine.

Worth the hassle

Before deciding whether or not to do something it’s worth asking yourself if it is worth the hassle.

Sometimes, we jump in head first because we think we should do something or we feel like we’re supposed to do it.

Instead, I think it’s much more helpful to assess if it’s something that even needs to be done. The last thing you want is to out of your way or go above and beyond for something that you don’t consider worth it or something you will regret agreeing to.

An example could be agreeing to help someone when you’re already busy. Something like that is rarely worth the hassle and being considered helpful for taking on too much and exhausting yourself probably won’t make it any more worth it.

Caught in the act

Noticing your unhelpful habits as soon as they start to emerge is a skill worth learning. Instead of getting carried away and indulging in behaviour you’re likely to regret, stop.

Realise what you’re doing, realise why and make the conscious choice not too continue.

Before you get to that point you might find that you regularly have situations where you don’t show up as your best self, you don’t put in much effort or you’re not treating people how you want to be treated.

But those things aren’t helpful. It doesn’t benefit you to be half-hearted with your efforts or unkind to other people.

As soon you realise that, the more likely you are to catch yourself in the act the next time it happens until eventually you’re no longer giving in to your unhelpful habit.