Life's too short to spend time reading the musings of toxic social media friends.
Chances are you have an online friend list that rivals your company's employee directory. Whether from high school, former jobs or even a few people you met on vacation, they probably have something to say in a Facebook status -- but that doesn't mean you want to hear it.
Consider this your handbook, at least when it comes to your well-being. Joy often comes in the company you keep. Research shows your happiness can be tied to strong social connections -- that may even mean the ones you have online. Here are just a few of the Facebook friends you should consider nixing from your newsfeed.
1. The Political Ranter
It's like having the proverbial drunk uncle at the Thanksgiving table, but now on your phone -- and every day.
Your social media friends are entitled to share their political opinions, but if you don't want to listen to someone's thoughts on healthcare or the second amendment, ditch him. Simple as that.
2. The Negative Nancy
Sure, everyone has their off days, but there's a difference between sharing and dwelling. Research shows that stress is a contagious emotion. The more negative energy you cut out of your life -- which includes your Facebook feed -- the happier you'll be.
3. Your Ex-Someone
Don't waste precious energy hate-stalking former friends and flings. It may be hard at first, but eliminating them from your online circle may be the best thing for your mental well-being.
If you're not ready to cut the cord quite yet, Facebook has several features you can use to make the transition easier. Try hiding the person in your newsfeed or using the site's "Take a Break" feature, which hides memories, photos and other content featuring that specific person.
4. The 'Best Life' Acquaintance
It's time to stop comparing yourself to others, but that can be hard when, as one 2015 study found, Facebook can actually prompt depressive feelings because of social comparison. If you find yourself feeling bad about your life because of an elementary-school classmate's engagement photos -- and you're not at all involved in her life -- it might be time to hit "unfriend."
5. The Attention-Seeker
"Today was probably the worst day of my life... don't wanna talk about it," reads the status in your newsfeed. Cue the eye-rolls.
You probably aren't alone in your reaction: Attention-seeking statuses may make the audience more annoyed rather than compelled to play into the ambiguity. If you're sick of the drama, it might be time to eliminate these people from your updates.
6. The Braggart
Did he take a really awesome vacation? Did she burn 865 calories at the gym? You're going to hear about it -- and feel super annoyed. Science even has your back on this one: Research shows "humblebragging," or self-promotion under the guise of modesty, really doesn't fool anyone on social media. Sorry, showoffs.
7. Anyone who makes you feel really crappy about yourself.
When it comes down to it, social media shouldn't be a soul-sucking experience. If there's anyone who is dragging you down -- whether online or IRL -- it might be time to reevaluate their presence in your life.
And if that doesn't work, there's always the option to go off the grid for a little while. A little unplugging never hurt anyone.
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