While I am cleaning out my closets and donating things like crazy, I’ve also tried to spend some time decluttering social media. Reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up gave me permission to get rid of so much of the clutter in my home and in my life, so I’m here to give you permission to get rid of the clutter we all suffer through on social media.
In her book, Mari Kondo encourages people to pick up each object in their home and answer the simple question: “Does this bring me joy?” If it does not, it’s time to re-home it. I have adopted this same mentality towards my social media. According to the 2016 U.S. Cross-Platform Future in Focus, the average person spends almost 2 hours a day on social media. Take average life expectancy into account, and that’s just over 5 years of your life. Let’s make those a happy five years, using social media for things that bring us joy.
Here are 5 Ways I’m Decluttering My Social Media:
1. I unsubscribed to all of the emails I didn’t want.
I used to think that I could just mark anyone I didn’t want as spam and they would magically go away, no harm done. It turns out, marking all of my unwanted emails as spam is doing harm-not to me, but to the company. As anyone that uses email for business knows, the last thing you need is all of your customers marking your emails as spam. Now when I’m uninterested in receiving a company’s emails, I scroll down to the bottom of an email and simply click “unsubscribe.” I try to spend a week doing this every three months or so and it makes a huge difference in my day to day when I’m not rifling through unwanted emails and dumping them all in the trash. For other companies that I want to continue to get their emails, but don’t necessarily need to see them everyday I create a folder with the companies name and have their emails start going to the folder. That way when I’m going to be shopping there and I want to look for a coupon code, or I have some time to do some reading I can click over and catch up on my own terms.
2. I unfriended my high school friends I don’t care about.
That sounds so harsh typing it…but I really don’t necessarily care about every.single.person I went to high school with and I don’t think they care about me or really need to know everything I post on fb. This also goes for random acquaintances and other people that I have no real interest in. Facebook especially is SO FULL of clutter at this point that it’s hard to keep track of much. If you add a bunch of people in that you don’t need to know about suddenly you’re caught up looking at pictures of someone you knew 15 years ago and will never see or talk to again. If I wouldn’t go out of my way to walk up to them in a store and say hi when I’m home visiting, then I don’t need to keep up with them on Facebook.
3. I unfollowed all of the brands I don’t love.
I am guilty of following many different brands in the hopes that I will win a giveaway. I then find myself continuing to follow them after the giveaway and next thing I know I’m not seeing most of what my actual friends are posting because my feed is so full of brands. It’s amazing how quickly my feed fills up and how suddenly I want to buy all of their things. Both my brain and my wallet have thanked me for filtering this better. Once a month I run through my feed and unfollow brands that just aren’t what I care about or need.
4. I stopped being friends with or following those people to which I felt obligated I had to.
I once messaged my Dad and told him that if he continued to post 10-20 negative political posts at a time, multiple times a day that I wouldn’t be following him anymore and if he needed to share something with me he would need to do it another way. I just can’t have that much negative spam in my life, even if it is coming from a family member. Facebook has the option of unfollowing instead of unfriending and that may just be what you need to do if Grandma is a racist or you can’t stand one more picture of your cousin’s kids.
5. I don’t follow people to hate them.
I stop following people when I start getting jealous or guilty or start needing to gossip. Much of the time this is my own problem, not theirs. If someone is doing things I want to be doing, mothering how I wish I was mothering or anything of the like and it starts making me feel bad about myself, it’s time to unfollow. I also don’t follow people solely so I can talk crap about them later. I just don’t. I need joy in my life, not negativity and sometimes that means turning off the things that play into my vices. This ebbs and flows for me because many of the accounts I follow offer amazing inspiration and I love that, but occasionally that crosses a line and I find myself feeling bad. A perfect example was when a friend of mine was struggling with infertility she took a break from following some of her pregnant friends and baby-loving brands. Decluttering social media can come in waves based on your current life situation. There is nothing wrong with that!
Limiting who I spend my time following has brought me so much joy and simplified my life. I’m better able to connect with those that I do care about and I’ve kept myself from needing to run away from social media (although I’m completely supportive of taking breaks from time to time). Filtering what I see prevents me from being overwhelmed because there is A LOT. I’m hoping that by working on my relationship with my social media I can pass these same habits down to my children.
How do you manage your social media?