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When you hear ‘social network’, do you think positively? Do you feel afraid, that you’re missing out? Got that urge to check your phone? Perhaps you wish you could just delete that person from your feed, perhaps you’ve started to feel like you don’t even belong in the spaces you once believed were made for you. However you feel, minimising your social network(s) is a quick change which you can make immediately, and which has the potential for tangible, positive effects.
We don’t all need the Jaron Lanier route, deleting all the social media right now, but perhaps we all need a change. If you’ve watched The Social Dilemma, perhaps you’ve already reconsidered your social media usage. You’ve thought about your data, you’ve checked your notifications, you’ve accepted the cookies on the page you just clicked. Now you’re realising you might need to do things differently.
Maybe, though, you’re just a minimalist, looking for another thing to minimise. What better than the thing in your pocket, captivating your attention, each network competing for your time, engagement, and sometimes, money.
There’s no perfect formula for minimising your social network, but here are some things to consider:
Amend your friends list. It can be hard to delete that last person from high school who you feel you should have in your friends list, or in your following. If you catch yourself feeling guilty, angry, jealous, when their posts hit your timeline, then it’s time to let go.
Delete all social network apps. Yes, really, no more apps. Social networks can still be a luxury, something you can engage with at your convenience. Having them all in your pocket, however, can be a distraction and an annoyance. They can come to feel invasive. Keep any essential messaging apps, but trash the rest.
Turn off notifications and emails. It takes about five to ten minutes to go through each social network and turn off notifications and emails. Not only does this remove that constant buzzing, or worse, browser notifications, but it also clears up your email inbox in advance.
Even in a distanced world, now is the time to minimise your social networks, not to disconnect, but to connect in a more sustainable, engaged, and productive way.
Featured image: Thom Bradley via Unsplash.