Online clutter and mess can sneak up on you. I personally really enjoy social media and subscribing to valuable emails, but sometimes I get carried away. The online world is much more fun when you’ve tailored it specifically to work for you.
Here are my tips for weeding out the pages (and yes, people) that don’t really matter to you:
- If a friend or acquaintance follows you on Instagram, but hasn’t posted in the last two months, don’t follow them back. There are better ways of keeping in touch with this person.
- Same goes for a page that used to post often but no longer does.
- If a profile you follow drastically changes focus (from one topic to another, or starts selling something) and you’re not digging the change, unfollow. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the new content, just that you’re not the ideal audience or it’s not where you’re at right now.
- Every once in a while, browse through the pages you follow on Facebook. (I find it helps if I’m a bit grumpy; it’s easier to cull through the pages.) If you don’t care about a page anymore, unlike. It’ll give you more time for the things you do care about.
- Use birthday notifications to unfriend people you a) don’t know or b) don’t want to wish happy birthday. There will be so much love coming their way they won’t notice you sneaking off. This’ll leave you both with more room for the relationships that really matter.
- Use the customization options so you don’t miss posts from your best friends or favourite pages – or to unfollow people who are bringing you down.
Note: not recommended as a reactive measure or when fighting with a friend. Deal with your issues.
It’s okay to unfollow …
- Your college friend whose jokes you still don’t find funny
- Companies who only post sales
- Family, friends, or colleagues
Bonus tips (yes, I know the title says nine. Surprise!)
Report, don’t contribute to the problem. If you come across a post on any social media site that is hateful, objectively inappropriate (not just something you dislike), or spam, don’t start or contribute to a war of words. It’s much faster and – better on the blood pressure – to just report the post or account.
Social media sites have gotten much better at making it easy for users to report inappropriate content, so use your power for good!
Do what works for you. These suggestions are not hard and fast rules. They’re quick tips to help you infuse some objectivity into your social media experience. After all, social media can be fun! and funny! and rewarding! Taking a bit of time to consider what’s not working will bring you closer to the perfect solution for you.