… but not what you are thinking. I am not talking about a cleanse for my body. I am doing a cleanse of my personal belongings as I get ready for a major move. Not going to talk about that today either.
I participated in a webinar last week about email newsletters. Between something I heard in that webinar and my constant decluttering in my home for my impending move, something struck me.
Do you ever clean out your social media accounts? I know people who do this regularly. I will tell you some things I think about this.
- While cleaning out social media accounts will not create physical garbage as decluttering your home will, it can create emotional garbage.
- Is there an underlying reason for doing this?
- What perimeters will you use when you do this cleaning?
When you start decluttering your home, you get piles. Not a physical condition for you personally, but a condition where there are piles all over the house. At least this is how it starts in my house. I never can accumulate enough boxes to put things in so I make piles. I’m sure you’ve all done this. One pile is the keep pile. One pile is the goodwill pile. Another pile is the garbage – which is actually in a big black bag.
In most cases, there is not an easy way to do this with a social media account. You are most likely just going to keep or delete people. This may drag up memories you haven’t thought about in a long time – emotional garbage. This emotional garbage will stick around longer than the physical garbage in decluttering.
I have to be honest, with the exception of a tool for Twitter that tells me who isn’t following me or who has recently unfollowed me, I don’t think about the people who are returning my follows/friending/circles – whatever it may be called on a specific platform. I know I lose people occasionally. Then, I gain people. In the end it balances itself out. You need to realize, though, I have over 500 friends on Facebook and over 5000 followers on Twitter. Not easy on a one person/account by one basis to figure out who left.
The big emotional garbage comes when someone notices you have unfollowed or defriended them. Are you willing to explain your actions? You may have to or even bigger emotional issues will follow.
What is the underlying reason you are cleaning up your social media accounts?
In my case, this happens in Twitter on a semi-regular basis. I get that message when I try to follow someone new that says I cannot follow anyone else at this point in time. I then go to some tool that will show me who I am following that is not following me back. I look first at those who have recently stopped following me and decide whether I am going to continue to follow them. I move on to older accounts. I followed a lot of news accounts when I first got on Twitter. Maybe some of those can go. I always manage to be able to go back and follow the account that initiated this process.
The underlying reason could also be as simple as a non-online, a real life relationship ending. Sometimes this type of cleanse will lead to the emotional garbage above. This is also the one where you are most likely going to be noticed as having unfollowed.
Perimeters are hard. When you think of perimeters as being a way to judge which person to keep and which to let go, it seems very harsh. When you think of accounts, it may not seem so hard or harsh.
Start with the end in mind. What is it you are hoping to accomplish? If you have the end goal in mind, setting perimeters will be easier.
Not that this would ever happen but let’s say I decide I am never going to run again. I want to get rid of those people who are in my base social media accounts that the only thing we have in common is running. This may take me a while as I know a lot of runners and most overlap in my life as we have other things in common but I would have a perimeter to follow.
Another instance could be that relationship ending. You no longer want your ex or your ex’s friends to be friends with you on Facebook. You know who these people are and can unfriend them. This could, and probably will, lead to that first issue of emotional garbage.
Let me know. Do you clean out, clean up your social media accounts? If so, is it a regular habit? Is it precipitated by a message you can’t follow anymore users? Is it due to real life circumstances?