Social media sirens call to me every day on my computer and my smartphone. I like to be up to date, so I’m especially susceptible to their call.
So, this past weekend I culled some of my social media contacts as part of my continued effort to tune out distractions.
I had three goals when I culled my list:
- Cut back the amount of news I get from multiple sites.
- Get quality feeds from people who show a mix of activity regularly.
- Reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed by information.
I use Facebook mostly to maintain personal connections. Most of my friends here are relatives, people from high school and college, as well as some business partners and book co-authors. I want to have my Facebook feed have more positive posts and topics I find interesting, such as national parks, comics and animation, and local news updates. I also like keeping tabs on my local area through groups such as restaurants, what’s for sale, what people think of local businesses, and who’s hiring.
I’m not friends with people who have one theme such as political stuff, or people who have a specific focus that doesn’t interest or involve me. What’s more, if friends don’t respond to my comments and private messages, I presume they don’t want to be friends anymore.
Now I have a news feed that has fewer updates and I don’t have to check as often.
Twitter is the news ticker for my interests including:
- Regional newspapers and television stations
- State and national news
- Space, science, and science fiction
- Arts and music
- Technology, the web, and online marketing
- Graphic design and typography
- Business and health associations
- Some government departments such as the California Office of Emergency Services
Though most accounts I follow come from organizations, I follow some people who work for those organizations or in a specific area of interest like technology.
Now I face the challenge to not check Twitter every few minutes for the latest news.
I have the most connections on LinkedIn by far because most of them are professionals. I find keeping my professional network healthy can be a challenge because I get many connection requests from website companies all over the world. Most of them send spam messages so I’ve learned to ignore website company connect messages. LinkedIn has more news that I like, but it also has more ads than it used to.
Some Instagram profiles I follow are from people I don’t follow on any other network, and many of my followers only follow me on Instagram.
I deleted my Pinterest account because my business isn’t a good fit for a photo-focused social network. I don’t worry about creating a YouTube channel because I can’t create a video blog without a voice.
This weekend I announced that I’ll delete Facebook and LinkedIn pages for my books that I started years ago, so I’ll get back more time since I won’t be searching for news stories anymore.
The Work Continues
I had to make some exceptions to my rules. For example, I can only get the local newspaper’s feed on Facebook. Some longtime friends post political stuff on Facebook, so I hide the sources. I have my business page on Facebook because people follow it. And I follow some people on multiple networks, especially Facebook and LinkedIn.
I strive for quality over quantity, and when I get more time I’ll cull my networks again. Now I have to work on blocking out time and not visit websites as often.
I hope sharing my strategies to keep the social media sirens at bay are helpful. What strategies do you use?