Do you find yourself skipping through most of the things that appear on your feed? Are you spending more time than you should scrolling through your timeline? Perhaps it’s time to do some spring cleaning on your social media.
Social media is a double-edged sword. Proper usage gives us tons of benefits from staying connected with our family and friends worldwide to making it easier and faster for us to communicate and exchange information in our jobs, especially during the pandemic when many of us are forced to work from home. In many ways, it has become our lifeline in this socially distant world.
On the flip side, social media can be extremely addictive. It’s easy to spend hours on social media without even noticing it. Not only does it consume our precious time: it can also affect our mental health and well-being.
Social Media Cleanup: Who, What and How to Unfollow
Social media doesn’t have to be your enemy. For some, doing a social media fast can do wonders for mental health, relationships and productivity. It’s also one way of developing self-discipline. However, you don’t necessarily have to unplug to have a healthy relationship with social media. Instead, you can declutter your social media by doing an unfollow cleanup. Here’s how:
Unfollow if your answer is NO to any of the following questions:
- Do you care about what this person says or posts?
- Do you enjoy seeing their posts?
- Do you often skip or scroll past their posts without even looking at them?
- Does this person generally post things that give you positive vibes?
- Is this person someone you are friends with or in a good relationship with?
On Facebook, you can easily “unfollow” someone without causing any waves. The unfollow option only hides their updates from your feed without them knowing that you’ve done it.
Instagram doesn’t notify someone if you unfollow them either, unless that person checks their profile to see if you are following them. There’s also the “Restrict” and “Mute” functions, where you can restrict someone from seeing your content and limit the content you see from that user’s posts and stories, respectively.
On Twitter, if you want to stop seeing updates from someone specific, you can click on the three dots next to a tweet and then “Mute” the user. You can also unfollow someone on Twitter without them receiving a notification that you did so.
Unfollow Pages, Groups and Tags
Most social media sites allow you to follow masses of content with one click. This is beneficial when you want to be updated with a specific topic, but it can quickly overwhelm your feed if you’ve been indiscriminately following things that capture your interest.
Unfollow hashtags and pages you aren’t really paying attention to. If you can’t remember the last time you interacted in a group, it’s probably time to leave it.
Unfollow Cleanup for Spam/Inactive Accounts
If you know me, you know how I feel about robots: I’m not a fan.
Something to be aware of is that there are fake accounts and spam accounts that infiltrate personal and business accounts alike. When you go through your followers or come across an account you don’t recognize, make sure to report that account and unfollow them immediately. You also have the option to block them so that the spam account won’t be able to find you again.
Then there’s the classic friend who forgot their password and created a new account. Once their new, active account is created, there’s no need for you to continue following the old one. Unfollow that old account so you don’t get the two mixed up when tagging or messaging that person.
The safest and most accurate way to do this is manually but that can take a lot of time if you are following many accounts. There are Instagram unfollow apps that can do the work for you, but you should do your due diligence to make sure it doesn’t cause any problems.
With all that said… Go hit the refresh button on your social media!
Decluttering your social media is more than just clearing away the irrelevant stuff on your timeline or feed. It’s a conscious decision to refresh one aspect of your life so you can focus your time and energy on the people and things that truly matter to you. Spend less time behind the screen and live more in real time to get more out of your life.
With these tips to declutter your social media, you’ll feel more at peace with your social media consumption. We spend so much time online in our digital world, and we might as well make it as meaningful as possible by paying attention to who and what matters most to us.
In love and respect,