Empaths and Limiting Social Media
I’m not one to collect, intentionally at least, Facebook friends and social media followers to prove my popularity or to offer, the trendier term, “social proof” that my words, books, and blog posts are worthwhile to the inhabitants of planet Earth.
The usual advice given to empaths, in regards to social media, is to try to stick with positive online friends or at least those who have little or no drama to pull you into. The more friends you have, the more energetic connections you’re likely to make…even ones you’re not aware of.
From time to time, I unfriend or delete followers because they cross my boundaries. Emotions can be exceptionally jagged during big political elections, religious arguments, and breaking news stories. In most cases, I can merely hide negative people and drama queens…particularly if they’re family members. In other cases, I have to do everything in my power to make sure I don’t view their online offerings…particularly if it’s photos of abused animals or children. This is not to say that positive people, neutral people, or those who never comment one way or the other on any of your posts or opinions can’t be harmful.
After an anonymous Facebook friend who rarely, if ever, communicates with me on social media copied my private posts and passed them on to my boss, I’d decided I’d had enough. Of course, I know better than to think anything said on social media is truly private and though I didn’t mind my boss reading these posts, they had nothing to do with him or my current job and they were misinterpreted and distributed to a wide audience who had no idea of the background of the particular event, though most of my Facebook friends are very familiar with the background, including the offender. Over the next few days, I decided that although I would really miss the posts of some of my co-workers, to unfriend and block about 40 of them. The only ones who remained were my immediate team, friends outside of work, and a few former interns whom I still mentor.
Within a day, I noticed that I was feeling lighter, happier, less stressed. I learned that some of my co-workers who have never spoken to me online had been lurking heavily and admitted to living vicariously through me. Others strongly disagreed with my spirituality, a well-known fact behind my back, and monitored my postings to fuel the rumor mill. Some of my former Facebook friends had always been pleasant to my face, but were in no way supporters…as are many of the other groups that I connect with online, including my writer pals, spiritual friends, close family, and distant cousins I’ve come to know via social media.
By divorcing most of my co-workers on Facebook—including people I really didn’t want to unfriend—I reduced the amount of fodder co-workers had. I also severed their energetic attachments to me 24 hours a day. That part was the most unexpected of all.
As an empath, there are many times I can feel someone thinking about me or focused on me. Social media allows a lot of energetic cords to form with people I’m not closely bonded with and who really don’t support me in any way.
Sometimes I go for walks at night or in the early mornings and I‘ll walk straight through a single strand of spider web, right across my face. I’m not sure where it came from and I didn’t see it before, but I do know I want to get it off me as fast as possible. And now, at night, before I go to bed, I energetically sweep away all those spider webs and attachments to me…from readers, from Facebook friends, from social media followers. Not because I don’t like these people, but because I can’t have that constant tug at my energy. In the morning, I wipe away any new webs that have formed overnight. It’s not disrespectful to my friends and followers on social media…and it’s not meant to be hateful.
It’s simply meant to keep my energy my own so that I can take care of myself first.