The other day I unfollowed almost everyone on Twitter.
It felt weird unfollowing people that I knew. What would they think? Would they take it personally? And if they unfollow me within 10 seconds (most do), would they feel what I felt?
Its been three months now and no one has said anything to me. I still have my friends. So that’s the answer: No, they might not take it personally. And if they did, then you need new friends.
I have no idea why I was following half the people that I did. Actually I do: I probably followed them because they followed me first. But after years of doing this, my stream of information has been LOL at best. Every time I looked at my phone, I became dumber. Complainers, whiners, trolls—all of it was making me bitter and uneducated.
Instead of using social media for the sake of connection—”Hey, look at my new purchase! I’m cool and special! Love and accept me!!!“—instead, I started using it for the sake of education.
Tiffany Shlain, one of the many contributors in Manage Your Day-to-Day, offers simple yet compelling advice on why we need to be responsible for who we allow into our lives:
I’m also a big believer of curating who you follow on social media. You’re letting those people into your brain and they’re going to influence your thoughts. I find that I even dream about some of the people I follow. We need to be really mindful of who we let into our stream of consciousness.
I started following people worth following—educators, entrepreneurs, authors, amazing bloggers, people doing interesting things. You don’t have to follow the kind of people I follow. The idea is to follow people you find inspiring, people who provide value.
Every time I log onto Twitter, I learn something that I never knew. It isn’t a waste of time, because the information that I’m consuming is good for me. Instead of seeing, “Ah, I hate Mondays,” or “I hate my job,” my thoughts are now being influenced by smarter, passionate people.
I once deleted Instagram because I couldn’t control how I was using it. Now, I’m more mindful with it. I’ve fallen in love (again) with fitness. A few months ago, developing the habit of exercising daily and eating smart was daunting. So I used my Instagram as a source of inspiration, not something that I turn to when I can’t start a conversation.
So I followed all types of body builders, fitness aficionados, nutritionists, yogis, athletes, cross fit trainers, etc. Luckily for me, many of them provide rich, insightful content—not just pictures, but a decent sized post underneath it explaining a certain workout or the nutritional value of a certain food. It’s no wonder why so many of them have 100k+ followers and get 5,000 likes within 5 minutes. Whenever I feel lazy, I scroll through my Instagram and immediately I am inspired. That’s a smart way of using your tools, of consciously curating your channels.
Objective for the day: Curate your channels. Go and unfollow the people who provide no value. Follow the people who are interesting, smart, and helpful. Don Draper, the leading character in the t.v. show Mad Men, once said, “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.”
Do you enjoy what you read/watch via your phone or tablet? Do you spend most of your day looking at a screen? Then you know what to do.