When I’m stuck in a bit of a rut, there’s nothing that makes me feel more cleansed than a good social media clearout. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of social media, and I spend a lot of my time on it. However, I’m also painfully aware that some of the things I see through Facebook or Instagram end up making me angry or upset, and I just don’t need that negativity in my life.
For today’s social media declutter, I’m going to be talking you through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and your email inbox. I know there’s other platforms out there, so hopefully you’ll be able to adapt some of these processes to fit your needs.
Let’s start with the biggest problem for me, Facebook.
- Start simple. Before we even consider unfriending, let’s go through those pages we liked last year during our obsession with Jane the Virgin. Go through all the films, music, TV programmes and other likes, disliking anything that you don’t need to see anymore. One example of this for me was Once Upon a Time, I followed that page a while back, and I always justified it to myself ‘I love that show, I can’t dislike it!’ However, just because you don’t see it on Facebook, doesn’t change how you feel about the show, it should be about the posts and how they influence you, not about the brand or person behind it.
- Unfriend, unfollow. This is always the tough bit for people, I know it seems callous. Personally, I don’t really do the whole unfriending thing anymore, instead, I chose to unfollow. That way, the means of communication is still open, if I want to reconnect with an old friend from school I can, but I don’t have to see their song lyrics in my news feed. When you’re thinking about friends, think about how their posts make you feel. For example, I am very friendly with a girl from church, but every so often she’ll share a plethora of posts about depression or feeling lonely or upset. Since unfollowing her, I no longer get that tight feeling in my chest and instead look out for her outside of the realm of social media. It’s a win-win.
- Think about it. Now that your Facebook feed is sorted, this might be a good time to go through your timeline and see what’s been happening there. If you’re trying to get a job for instance, and your friends have posted a pile of drunken pictures of you on your wall, that’s not going to help your case and may be difficult to justify in an interview. Even something as simple as broadcasting your political views or sharing discriminative posts can be detrimental to an employer, or even just to your friends in general. Make sure that anything you put on your wall is something you’d be proud to show your granny, if you stick to that, all should be well.
The next bit is easier folks, and a lot letime-consuminging. The process for Instagram and Twitter is pretty much the same, so rather than write it out twice, read this once with your Insta, scroll back, and take to Twitter!
- Who are you following? We all go on the occassional following-spree, maybe you went through a crazy puppy account phase or followed a heap of fan accounts when you were really into a movie (ahem, La La Land). Make sure that every account you follow brings you joy. If there’s an old friend from school who’s posts make you jealous, or sad, unfollow them. If there’s an account that makes you feel like you’re failing at life, say goodbye. Once you’ve finished, scrolling through your following section should be a snapshot into your inspiration, not your tormentors.
- Think about your theme. Obviously, some people care about having a theme and some people couldn’t care less. If you’re a part of the latter school of thought, skip to the next section. But, if you’ve always wanted to create a cohesive aesthetic across social media, this is the time to do it. Pick a theme, and delete any old pictures that don’t match your new image, or simply start fresh.
Now, on to the bane of my existence… emails.
- Inbox zero. We all have that one friend who just has their shit together and can consitently claim that their inbox is clear. After this, you too can be that friend. Start by simply clearing out your inbox. There will probably be some emails that you have to keep, so create a few folders. Personally, I have an archive folder where anything that I want to keep long-term goes, that way I can refer back to them in the future. I also have a few more short term folders for uni, work, church and shopping, I go through these pretty frequently to prevent them from getting clogged, but my goal is always to keep the inbox clear by deleting or filing.
- Unsubscribe. We’ve all created an account and accidentally signed up for a newsletter from time to time. Personally, I use unroll.me to mass unsubscribe from emails. The website will show you a list of all the different mailing lists your email address has subscribed to, allowing you to run down the list and unsubscribe. If there are some you want keep receiving, they have a ‘roll up’ feature that combines all those emails into one, so you’re still getting the information, without the inbox clutter… it’s a godsend.
If you’re here, I’m guessing you probably have a WordPress or YouTube account. Whether you’re a blogger or not, go through your subscriptions and get rid of the accounts with posts you just never click on anymore.
If you are a blogger, I’d take this opportunity to clear out your drafts aswell, we all start posts and don’t finish them, if it’s been there for a while, it might be time to let it go…
So there we have it! Your social media should now hold a little less power over the progress of your day. Plus, your insta scroll won’t take nearly as long! I hope you’re enjoying this challenge and are finding these declutters helpful, let me know how you’re getting on in the comments or on Instagram or Twitter with the #FeBoost. See you tomorrow!