Welcome back to the Digital Declutter Challenge. We are on our 25th day of bringing order to our digital lives. For some of you, today’s task won’t be relevant, while for others it may be a welcome project. The challenge today is to declutter your social media feeds.
Ever since the turn of the millennium, social media has been exploding. Initially launching with sites like Friendster and MySpace, social media options have grown over the past decade to the point where Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn are common aspects of daily life.
As with all technology, the landscape of social media platforms shifts rapidly. One year everyone is on one site, and then in the blink of an eye, a new site is the “spot to be.” Each site offers unique features, fulfilling the needs of a particular audience. It is common to participate on multiple sites, and also to find that a site we used to frequent is no longer relevant.
The challenge today is twofold:
1. Eliminate Unused Accounts
If you signed up on a social media site, but have since found that you never use it, you should close the account. Unused accounts are always an invitation for misuse and identity theft. In addition, sometimes people berate themselves for never having “figured out how to use it,” adding a burden of guilt and self-recrimination that is completely unnecessary. Social media should be fun. If you aren’t enjoying it, let it go.
[Note: If you’ve been following along with the challenge, you may already have completed this step two days ago.]
2. Declutter Your Feeds
When you first sign up for a site, it is normal to want to grow your following. Most people quickly accept connection requests and follow back enthusiastically. Over time, you may find yourself in undesirable digital relationships. There are a variety of reasons why you may wish to quietly remove people from your social media stream, including:
- The material they post is offensive to you
- Their content conflicts with your worldview and makes you upset
- They post so frequently it clogs your stream
- You can’t remember who they are
- Their posts make you feel inferior or unworthy
- The person has passed away, but his/her account has not been deleted
- Your relationship with the person has changed
Fortunately, most sites allow you to either limit the content you see from others or to sever the relationship without the other party being notified. This is a good thing, as the goal is to simplify your life, not hurt anyone’s feelings. Think of this process as a practical way to prioritize the relationships that are most important to you.
Each social media site operates differently, but in general, you can go to your settings and choose with whom you wish to be connected.
Have you ever thought about streamlining your feed? Which social media site do you use most often?