I Am Unfriending You
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Recently I completed a purge of my Facebook friends.

It was pretty big, by my standards.

At the start of the day I had 567 "friends." At the end, I had 460. Now 460 is still a pretty big number, but this is a change I made and the friends I am keeping are people whose stories matter to me.

That's a statement that bothers me a little. As an actor and a writer, I believe all people have a story and I believe that all stories are important. But the people I was friends with on Facebook? I wasn't even paying attention. I didn't even remember where I knew some of them from.

I use Facebook as a networking tool and an expressive platform. I share parts of my life that feel important. I share my Odyssey articles.

Having grown up in the digital age, I love the internet and the connections it allows me to create and keep. But I read an article recently that changed how I am viewing my media platforms.

Did you know that excessive social media use is linked to depression?

I didn't.

But it makes sense. The lack of human connection, the always trying to get "likes" and "reactions"? That's not healthy. That's not what human beings were built for.

Being a 19 year old student with clinical depression and a massive anxiety disorder, I do not need any more stressors or contributors to my illness. I have a biological factor, which means that I'd probably be struggling with my mental health regardless of social media or not...but why make it worse?

I was friends with people on Facebook that I didn't even like because I thought I needed to be.

I was friends with people I hadn't spoken to in years.

I had friends on Facebook that I had blocked but not unfriended because I wanted to be able to let them see how well I was doing. How twisted is that?

I was friends on Facebook with people that it hurt me to see or think about.

This social media clean out was a wakeup call for me. The people I am friends with now are the people I want to build connections with. I want to interact with them through their posts and in real life. I want to know these people.

I want to build real authentic relationships.

Real relationships are harder than social media "friendships." They often take more courage, vulnerability, and effort. But they're worth it.

I want to put my energy into friendships that matter.

So, if you unfriend me after reading this, I will understand. There will be no hard feelings.

Thank you for your friendship.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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