When you spend a lot of time scrolling through the endless content on Instagram—or any other social media platform—it can be overwhelming. However, there are times when the issue isn't how much time you spend on social media but rather the personalities and content you follow or are exposed to.
You should think about curating your Instagram feed if the content you see makes you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious but you still want to use the platform.
To help you curate a healthy Instagram feed, ask yourself these important questions to figure out which accounts or content need to be reviewed, hidden, unfollowed, or blocked.
1. Which Account(s) or Content Is Causing My Negative Feelings?
Finding the accounts or content that is making you feel bad is the first step in curating a healthy Instagram feed. You could begin by writing down any feelings you have while or after using Instagram, such as anxiety, stress, or a lack of confidence. Then, think back to the content or accounts you looked at in the most recent session.
Give ZenJournal a try for a quick way to implement this step. The app lets you write freely right away—no complicated or time-consuming setup required—so you can quickly write down your thoughts and feelings as they come up.
You can begin to alter the types of content you view or follow by determining the negative emotions Instagram causes you and the potential content that sparked those emotions.
To read our other article in detail Hide Instagram Likes: A Guide
2. Is This Bringing Value to My Life?
Although Instagram can be used in a positive way, not all of its content will necessarily add value to your life.
Your personal values will determine whether or not certain Instagram accounts or pieces of content are beneficial to you. Take into consideration your own values and goals, and consider whether the content you see on Instagram complements or complements your way of life. If it doesn't, or even makes your life more difficult, it's time to delete the social media content that doesn't help you.
3. Is This Account or Content Triggering, Causing Stress, or Anxiety?
When curating a healthy Instagram feed, one of the most important questions to ask yourself is whether the content you're seeing is triggering or causing you stress or anxiety. It's time to unfollow if a story or Instagram post makes you anxious, upset, or sends you spiraling out of control.
Try one of these free creative alternatives to talk therapy to help support your mental well-being if you feel particularly affected by triggering content on social media.
4. Do I Find Myself Comparing Myself or Admiring Others?
On Instagram, you can follow friends, strangers, or a combination of the two. It is possible for you to compare yourself to other people, whether you know them or not.
We have all been told that "comparison is the thief of joy," and it is without a doubt accurate. According to a study that was published on PubMed, social comparison on social media has a negative impact on psychological health, particularly by causing low self-esteem and negative emotions.
It's time to check in with yourself if looking at other people's Instagram posts about how they look or how they live makes you feel bad about yourself. Attempt to recognize which individuals or records you contrast yourself and eliminate them assuming they cut down your confidence.
On the other hand, it's a good idea to find your favorite Instagram accounts and content. The Psychology of Well-Being says that admiration can help you move closer to the values you want to have, like those you see others eliciting on Instagram. Keep the accounts on your Following list that motivate you to take positive action.
5. Is This Content Skewing My World Perception?
On social media, echo chambers are very real, and it's easy to get caught up in a single point of view.
On social media, many of us find ourselves in individualized bubbles, following content and information that can limit our perspective on the world. You run the risk of confirmation bias, which is made worse by algorithms on social media, sensationalist content, which gets more views, misinformation, and disinformation. Anxiety, social polarization, and overall wellbeing can all be harmed by any one of these.
Having consciousness of closed quarters and restricted sees is the way to organizing a solid Instagram feed. Examine the accounts and content you follow to determine whether you are following the ideal or a single viewpoint. Try to find more different points of view if you can, and be open to different points of view and constructive debate.
You can safeguard your well-being and avoid having a distorted view of the world by actively reviewing and diversifying the content you see on Instagram.
6. Is It Taking Up Too Much of My Time?
Moderating your time spent on social media is essential if you want to improve your relationship with it. If you find yourself stuck scrolling through the Explore or Reels tabs, you can set app limits on your smartphone to stop you from using Instagram at a certain time. Alternately, removing content that is addictive from your Instagram feed and curating it might help you stop scrolling.
Navigate to your Instagram profile and tap Following to view all of the content you typically view to determine which accounts you see the most. Tap Most shown in feed under Categories to see the likely culprits that keep you hooked on the platform. If you think you spend too much time looking at or interacting with someone, you are free to unfollow them or silence them.
7. Should You Hide, Restrict, Unfollow, or Block?
When you find that your friends' content is harmful or unhelpful, the solution is not always as simple as unfollowing them. By causing problems online, you don't want to damage real-life friendships.
Fortunately, Instagram provides additional options for curating your social media feed to improve mental health, allowing you to restrict the content you view from friends without affecting their relationships.
Your four choices come down to:
- Mute. You can silently mute your friends' stories and/or posts from showing up in your feed. Instagram doesn’t let the person know you’ve muted them—which is great for preserving your friendships.
- Restrict. Prevent others from seeing when you’re online or when you’ve read their messages by restricting them. Any direct messages will be sent through as a request first to give you additional protection.
- Unfollow. If you unfollow someone on Instagram, their content will no longer show up in your feed. The other person won’t receive a notification, but they can see that you no longer follow them if they check their own list.
- Block. When you block someone on Instagram, they’ll no longer be able to see you or your activity on the social media platform. They also won’t be able to tag, mention, or message you.
You have a choice when it comes to dealing with inappropriate content posted by friends or family on Instagram. Generally, muting an account can assist in removing their content from your feed without affecting your friendship. In the end, pick the action that will make your Instagram experience better.
You Can Curate a Healthy Instagram Feed for Better Well-Being
When used with caution, social media can be fun, and Instagram is a great place to hang out online. The key is to limit any content that you find to be harmful to your mental health and to be critical of what you are exposed to. Consider a social media detox to see if it improves your mental health if the steps above do not help.