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Instagram Just Made Your Feed (and Your Scrolling Habit) Way Better for Your Mental Health

Mary Grace Garis

Mary Grace GarisFebruary 10, 2020

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Photo: Getty Images/Ezra Bailey

Do you think you’re a social media hoarder? Are you planning to unfollow Instagram followers or accounts that make you feel like garbage? Of course you are. The entire point of social media is that we rarely follow people who make us feel better. Luckily Instagram has rolled out a new feature that helps you do a proper cleansing. Here’s how it works: 1. Open up the Instagram app. 2. Select “Following” and 3. Click on “Least Interacted With”

I tried it out, and it definitely made me do some soul searching. Sure, it told me that I don’t give the Lisa Frank Instagram as many likes as I should. (I need that neon burst of energy in my life.) But it also offered a starting point for making cuts. And wait, there’s more! When you make moves to unfollow Instagram followers, it might prompt you to unfollow similar accounts. For once, that’s some algorithmic genius on Instagram’s part.

Getting fresh eyes on the accounts you interact with least and subsequently unfollow allows us to be more mindful about and intentional with our social media use. It can help curb unhealthy “lurking” habits of those people we hate-follow (because come on, we’re all adults) and allow for room for good friends and good dogs. Most importantly, doing that kind of cleansing can do your mental health a big favor.

It’s worth reiterating that unfollowing others is true self-care. Social media impacts our self-esteem because it’s ridden with comparison traps and depictions of people’s lives that are far from reality, which can can stir up feelings of depression and loneliness. Knowing who to unfollow can help mitigate the grumpiness, the envy, the gut-churning reminders that your ex is hanging out with an entire subgenre of your friends.

So these new features at least take the need to clear up the accounts, and the kinds of accounts, that make you feel awful. That all-too-perfect, self-esteem-smashing influencer won’t even NOTICE if you hit “unfollow,” so why haven’t you done it yet? And their similar Fake #Fitspo friends can go too, allowing your feed room to breathe…and more positivity to flow in.

Btw, here’s one writer’s top tips on how to curate your Instagram for better mental health. And here’s how to deal if your S.O. is upset that your ex is still all over your social media account.

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