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Social media has made it so easy for people to keep up with what everyone is doing at every moment of the day. From vacation posts, dinner pics, and OOTDs to almost every person on social media, it becomes too easy to compare yourself to them but, what we don’t realize is how social media is easily edited to cut out the parts that aren’t so “Insta-worthy”. Most people think of their diet as what they eat on a daily basis and in reality, your diet isn’t just what you eat. It’s everything you consume from music to social media to daily interactions and more. 

Comparison Kills

Everyone is guilty of scrolling through social media and comparing themselves to the people they see. But what everyone doesn’t realize is how much that truly impacts them, whether that be subconsciously or right away. It’s natural to compare and contrast between yourself and others but keeping healthy boundaries with comparison can drastically improve how you view social media and others. Understanding how to use social media can help eliminate those negative comparison vibes. If social media is tailored to your personal use, it can be a great tool to utilize for connections, inspiration, and almost anything else you’re looking for out there. Also, never forget how truly amazing you are and how awesome those people on your screen are as well. Just because they have a great presence on social media, doesn’t mean you aren’t equally as amazing. Everyone has value and their own uniqueness that is extremely special; don’t forget that!

Woman on instagram
Photo by Kate Torline from Unsplash

Healthy Boundaries

When I was personally exploring this idea and really digging into who and what I follow on social media, I realized a lot of it was unnecessary and honestly quite harmful for my mentality. I started my social media cleanse by writing out some goals or things I wanted to gain from certain platforms. For example, I use Instagram for ideas on workouts, meal prepping, and overall fitness/wellness while for Twitter, I wanted to use that for more comedic relief or relevant news topics I felt I should be informed about. By doing this, I set intentions on the apps I commonly used and while using those apps after my cleaning session, I gained a ton of insight on topics I genuinely care about. It felt way more engaging and useful rather than aimlessly scrolling through. Another thing I did during my cleanse was unfollow accounts I felt weren’t matching the energy I wanted to create for myself. I had set intentions for the type of utilization and accounts that didn’t follow suit were simply cut out, easy as that! Before, I felt some sort of obligation to follow certain people for whatever reason, but I came to the realization that these are MY platforms, they should be about me and what I want to see! Lastly, the hardest thing I did for myself, I set daily time limits for social media apps (yes, even TikTok). iPhones have a great feature that allows you to set a certain amount of time to be active on that app and it simply locks you out after that daily time is up. This is the biggest thing that helped me when setting boundaries on social media. It was tough at first, but I shifted my time and energy to other things when that timer went off and it was easier to do so when something else was telling me to quit being on my phone!


Living for Yourself

Another big portion of your “diet” is who and where you spend your energy. This is really similar to the social media aspect but in real-life interactions where everything should withstand in the social media cleanse.  A good mentality to have is, “You are a collective of the people you surround yourself with”. Therefore, evaluating who you spend a good amount of time with is crucial in understanding who you are as a person. Spending time with people that have the same mindset is the only way to achieve your personal goals. By putting people by you who want the same lifestyle, it becomes easier to be a part of that rather than constantly having to “chase” it. Having healthy and mindful conversations with your friends is the best way to address this and maybe you’ll be their inspiration to come together!

three silhouettes in the middle of the road
Photo by Karina Lago from Unsplash

Change Is Not Linear

When I first started analyzing who and what I was spending my time and energy on, it was a tough realization and I hated it to be quite honest. But, after I took the time to understand why I was doing what I was doing, it all came together, and I was able to grow as a person. I cut out the unnecessary aspects that were ultimately holding me down and I felt freed when I made those changes. Of course, I am still finding the ultimate balance of energy in my life, but with direction and intention, I have a good idea of what I am looking for overall. My journey has been difficult as I expected it to be, but I knew it would be worth it in the long. I truly believe life has become much more enjoyable now that I understand how my diet is more than what I eat, but where I spend my energy every day.


Hey! My name is Bryanna Popejoy and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Iowa. I am majoring in Environmental Engineering, minoring in Spanish, and pursuing a certificate in Sustainability. I am also on the club soccer team here at Iowa and am a member of the school's Phi Sigma Pi honor fraternity. Outside of school, I enjoy fitness and wellness, reading a great book, and being a coffee connoisseur! I am beyond excited to be writing for U Iowa's HerCampus chapter and I can't wait to see what is in store for me!
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