Much has been written on the ills and/or necessity of social media in this internet age.
Depending on who you read, social media can be a contributor to social dislocation or an essential part of your personal brand. Personally, I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle (as it usually does).
Social media is, in my view, neither the devil incarnate nor the answer to your everything. It is a tool which can support, and even enhance, our lives, but it also contains hazards. Not just the obvious noisy trolls, but quieter dangers like discontent, jealousy and time-wasting.
I don’t worry so much about avoiding trolls: they will trample wherever they will, and there ain’t much anyone can do about that except wait for them to move on.
I have found a way to managing the quieter dangers. It is simple, but effective:
consciously choose what goes into your feeds
Over recent weeks, I’ve been making conscious decisions about what I do and don’t want in my feeds, and who I want to hear from: I’ve cleaned out my Twitter follows and started work on my Facebook newsfeed. Pinterest is yet to come.
More important to me than clearing out is choosing what to embrace in my feeds. I want to be encouraged and inspired, so I can spread that joy wider.
Interestingly, I’ve found that I enjoy Twitter more than I do Facebook. I think it’s partly because there is no requirement to be friends with people to share their wisdom and humour. And the character limit makes for quicker scrolling and less ranting. Facebook does help me stay connected to people I care about, but Twitter leaves me smiling!
Anyway, here’s a couple of tips for releasing and embracing your social media feeds:
- Think about what you actually want to see: what do you want to be feeding your soul? If you do this right at the beginning, it will make choosing who to release and who to keep around much easier.
- My Twitter feed had ended up full of cynical political commentary which was dragging me down. Cynical is one thing I really don’t need encouragement for – I can do it quite well by myself! So, I’ve deliberately chosen to follow people whose tweets encourage me and make me smile (especially if they feature cat pics).
- It is okay to release people from your feeds. Chances are they’ll never know…
- I find Twitter is less emotionally charged than Facebook for this – but I have discovered you can unfollow individual Facebook friends without having to take that fraught step of unfriending. This takes them out of your newsfeed, but leaves the friendship in place. Pinterest is dead easy – just unfollow boards you don’t enjoy any more.
- Build a feed that feeds you
- It really doesn’t take much effort to fill your feed with images and words that feed your soul. Just search for what you actually like and want to see (see #1) – and do remember it is okay to release and unfollow what no longer works for you.
We are allowed to grow and change, and we are allowed to take our social media with us as we do!
How do you manage your social media? Do you have any tips for de-cluttering this part of life? Please share 🙂