Unfollowing (or how I went from following 400+ people on Instagram to following less than 200 and got a lot happier)
I’ve been listening to Make It Happen by Lara Casey and The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner and they really have me thinking about the things that I spend my time one. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is scroll through my social media feeds: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. There’s nothing wrong with this other than it doesn’t make me happy. It doesn’t put me in a good place to start the day.
I find myself comparing MYSELF to the people in those feeds. Good ole’ social media jealousy. I could train myself to be less jealous, more content but wouldn’t it be easier to remove the things that don’t bring me happiness?
Sure, I could delete social media from my life entirely. But then I would be losing a lot of wonderful conversations, connections with old friends, news catchups, and book recommendations. So I decided to do a deliberate evaluation of who I follow on social media. I don’t have all the answers, but here’s what worked for me.
The best part about deleting/unfollowing — seeing MORE of what you do love. I was missing so many posts by my favorite people/brands because there was so much clutter in my feeds.
- Anyone whose posts riled me up (different politics, different life choices) had to go. They weren’t making me happy. They weren’t inspiring a healthy debate. They were just ticking me off. I don’t need that annoyance in my social media!
- You don’t have to follow someone on all their social media accounts. Maybe someone posts really engaging thoughts on Twitter but their instagram feed is clogged with workout posts you don’t care about. Just because you love the person (because they’re your friend/favorite celebrity/blogger you respect) doesn’t mean you need to see them EVERYWHERE.
- Seriously think about whether you need to follow people who make you jealous/annoyed. Beauty and fashion bloggers I’m talking about you. If you look at their pictures and all you want to do is live their life, maybe they need to not be in your feed. I’m not saying don’t look at anyone else’s life, I’m just saying maybe you would be happier if you weren’t comparing yourself to them 10+ times a day as you scroll through you feed.
- Do you really need all of your social media accounts? For me the answer is a resounding YES. I use Twitter, Instagram and Facebook very differently. But I also never set up Snapchat, Vine or others because I knew they weren’t right for me.
- This is an ongoing process. If one of the people you follow suddenly starts posting a million pictures of THING YOU DON’T LIKE, unfollow them.
- Follows are not an indication of friendship. They are not currency. They do not show that you “know” the right people. OR they shouldn’t.
- I started by going through my list of People I Follow and deleting anyone I couldn’t remember following or couldn’t figure out why I was following them. Since I was following 425+ people, there were a lot of strange ones!
- Next I scrolled through my feed, anyone’s post that instantly made me annoyed, I looked at their profile. If their last few posts also annoyed me/made me jealous/gave me FOMO, didn’t make me happy, I unfollowed them.
- Look, I get that everything in your life can’t make you happy. But if you are spending time scrolling through these things, shouldn’t you know what you’re looking at?
- Next up was Twitter. This one is harder since I follow so many people for work. These accounts don’t necessarily inspire happiness, but they do help me stay connected to librarianship. I went round and round with this, but eventually I came up with a solution.
- I put any accounts I needed to see for work but didn’t necessarily want to see at home into lists. At work I use Tweetdeck to view tweets so I can simply create a “school libraries” column or a “publishers” column. This means that when I am scrolling through my twitter feed at home, it isn’t bogged down with work related things.
- But what about fun accounts that fit into one of the lists? For me, it is about balance. If I genuinely want to see their tweets during off hours, I list them BUT continue following them.
- We all have those friends. You know the ones, the ones who post about everything in their lives. We get to see their breakfast, their kid’s art project, AND the weather. IDK about you but
- Why was I following these people who’s blogs I never read?
- I use Bloglovin’ to read most blog posts and I think it’s wonderful. It lets me see all the blogs with new posts in one place and lets me put them into categories. If I only want to see posts about libraries, I can.
So there are a few things I used to simplify my social media life. What tips and tricks do you have?