Today’s post on how to do a social media cleanse is a bit out of the ordinary for me, but I think you’ll all understand. Last weekend, my sister looked at my Instagram feed and told me flat out that she’d be bored with my feed. And without skipping a beat, I said “I usually am too.” I’ve been thinking about that a lot this week and how a form of entertainment for me and something that I have complete control over isn’t really that much fun anymore. So I set out to make it better…
Recently, it’s come to my attention how much I and we (in general) have followed social media accounts and subscribed to emails. While I’ve gotten carried away on some social media platforms, my safe space has always been Instagram (and now snapchat as well). I keep the number of accounts I follow to a minimum, so that I can still enjoy my feed. When Instagram announced a new algorithm last month, part of their justification for doing so was that most users only see 70% of the content in the their feed, which shocked me – people are following so many accounts, they just can’t see it all.
With all this in mind, I’ve been unsubscribing and unfollowing with reckless abandon this week. For Instagram, I follow a lot of food and fashion-related accounts. Because I do food and fashion everyday, I found that where it use to inspire and excite me to see their content, I’m now largely immune to it and rarely get enjoyment out of my feed on a consistent basis from photo to photo.
Side note (really this is probably worth a post on it’s own): the whole “food porn” culture irritates me to no end and I largely removed those types of accounts from my feed a few months back…As part of my unfollow tirade, I spent roughly 5-10 minutes (a few times this week), looking at each photo that appeared in my news feed. If I didn’t want to double tap it, giving it a like, I went to their profile and looked at their feed. Did I love it? If yes, they stayed. If not, I unfollowed and moved on to the next photo. Truthfully, I haven’t unfollowed that many accounts, I’m just being much more intentional with the ones I’m engaging with. So, what’s inspiring me instead of “food porn” and outfits these days? Home decor and seasonal ingredients mostly. We all change, so our social media feeds should as well.
On a similar but, in my opinion, simpler note, I’ve been unsubscribing from mailing lists. Every morning, I check my email on my phone and mass delete all the advertisement emails without opening them up. I often think I should unsubscribe but don’t want to on my phone (weak reasoning, I know). This week, however, I took the extra step to remove myself from newsletters and advertising from stores I don’t shop at frequently. When I realized I’d gotten on the list for PBTeen (likely because we registered at Pottery Barn for our wedding last year), I knew my life was going to be simpler.
Digital and social media are amazing phenomenons and I have no intention of leaving any of my platforms soon, but we have to be proactive about how we engage with it, so that we aren’t bored and immune to the content.
If you have ideas for how to declutter your feeds, I’d love to hear them…