Social Media Cleanse {Day 1}

I’m guessing you saw the title of this post and were wondering what.the.hell has been going on over here lately. I promise, it’s not some weird California KoolAid that I’m drinking. In fact, the slogan for this experiment happens to be, “like a juice cleanse, minus the green junk” because I can’t stand the thought of choking down kale/broccoli/spinach/cayenne in regular form, much less juiced and in gallon quantities. But I digress. This cleanse is more mental, and you can eat as much ice cream as you want. That all being said…

Welcome to the Social Media Cleanse.

Social Media Cleanse

I’ve had a lot of conversations lately about some of the drawbacks to social media and where it/the blogging communities are headed: namely, about the oversaturation and the noise. Sometimes, it just feels like you’ve got 30,000+ people in your head and they’re all screaming at you and everyone wants your attention all at once and OMGLOUDNOISES!! Add to that the trolls, the entitled jerks, the self-important/self-righteous/ignoramouses and sometimes, you just want to quit it all. But for me personally, and I’m sure for a lot of you, social media can be a really good thing too. It can mean a lot of referrals (thanks, social media!), a lot of good online friendships, great readers, support groups for things like dieting, entrepreneurship, etc., education (yay for teh googlez!), and of course, keeping up with people you went to high school with and their 2nd marriages and 3.5 kids.

Regardless of why you’re using it, the key to making social media work for you is to find the right balance for you, and to keep it from becoming that icky toxic monster that creeps up on you when you’ve got your back turned. Out of that came the idea for a social media cleanse. The concept is simple:

  • clear your social media followings of people who make you feel bad about yourself, trigger negative emotional reactions, or cause you to feel bad about the world in general
  • allow yourself to unfollow/unfriend/unsubscribe without feeling guilty, or the nagging “coulda/shoulda/woulda/what if’s” that so often come with doing so
  • prevent yourself from monitoring unfollows so that you don’t feel bad when people in turn unfollow you (most likely out of spite, anyways)
  • watch how your interactions improve, become more positive, and you become more positive!

You’ll notice that these are not rules. I’m not here to tell you what youshoulddo or what youhave to do. My goal behind the social media cleanse is providing you with tips and resources that have been working for me and others in improving our online/offline interactions, and that might prove useful to you too. You can implement all, some, or none of them- but I’d love to hear what does and doesn’t work for you guys, and especially what you think of the things that youdotry!

Since it’s Friday, I have a little (mini) homework assignment for Day 1 of the Cleanse. And no, you won’t get detention for not doing it, unless you like that sort of thing.

Day 1 Homework

1. Think about the 3 things that impact you the most negatively on social media on a regular basis. These might be triggers like: political debates, “mommy wars,” people posting cat photos, people reposting their blog posts 10x a day, your coworker who you really dislike posting a bunch of stuff on facebook, etc.

Then think about how you can remove these from your online life. Can you unfollow the person? Can you leave a group? Can you unsubscribe from their updates? You don’t have to take any actions this weekend. Just think about it. And if you start getting those panicky feelings, grab a glass of wine and shoot me a message.

I’d LOVE if you’d leave me a comment, even in super vague terms, of what those 3 “negativity triggers” are for you.I have a feeling that there will be a lot in common across the board!

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0 thoughts on “Social Media Cleanse {Day 1}”

  1. Awesome. You are brilliant. But I’ve known that for the last two years. Count me in.

  2. Got here by way of the lovely @chibijeebs:disqus and I totally love this idea!My biggest SM negativity trigger is myself. Sitting on the sidelines because I’m scared to jump in to the junior high cafeteria and ask for a seat at the table.
    Another trigger is FB, primarily the political stuff. We’re all mad as hell about something and we’re not going to take it anymore. Can’t we all just get along? Or at least not shout it to the rafters on the FB?
    I think the third thing is the feeling of pressure to be a part of all the things which is, again, an internal issue.

    Wow, I am working shit out! Free therapy in the comments section! #bestpostever

    1. Welcome!
      I’m gonna let you in on a secret. It’s the internet. Most of us are total nerds hiding behind our computer screens who haven’t showered or gotten dressed yet for the day… don’t be afraid to claim that seat for yourself!

      As for facebook/politics, um, you shouldn’t follow me on fb, because I’ll admit, I’m pretty guilty of that lately. Mostly because it frightens me to see the idiocy ratcheting up my ten notches every time, but yeah, I COMPLETELY understand what you mean. See Day 2 for my tips on avoiding that 🙂 And unsubscribe (at least until november) is definitely your friend over there!

      And yayyy for free therapy! I’ve paid enough for it- someone else should benefit from it for free!

  3. This is great, and I will absolutely put the button on my blog! I try to do social media cleansing regularly. I think my biggest worry is missing something big or fabulous because I unfollowed the wrong person. Negative triggers? Mostly on Facebook when people give me blunt opinions under my status updates. I’m opinionated, but I try not to spout off every time the opportunity presents itself. I just think people need to first ask themselves, “Does this really need to be said?”, before saying it.

    1. Hooray- will you post a screenshot of it on your blog? I’d love to see the button in action?
      I think it’s great that you do “cleansing” regularly, before it gets too out of control (like my laundry basket currently, whooops). Fear of missing out is huge- do you feel like social media has made that a lot worse for you? Expect a post on that later this week, btw.

      And that’s interesting about your FB updates. Is it people that you consider to be close friends? Or just random people with big mouths and no outlet for their (unwarranted) opinions?

      1. The button is in my sidebar under “bloggy stuff”. RE Facebook: I’d say it’s a mixture of both close and not so close people. It seems the close people think they’re allowed to say whatever they want, and the others don’t know me well enough to know what they’re talking about.

        1. I’ll check it out, hooray! And oh man, those facebookers. Do you respond to them? I think I’d have a hard time not telling ’em where they could stick it (but I’m a bit opinionated, in case you couldn’t tell.)

  4. This is a good idea!! 🙂 I’ll give it a shot – I know that I’ve unfollowed people who’ve messaged me with outraged opinions on my parenting strategies. Why the judgment? I feel a lot better without that negativity in my feed! 🙂

    1. it can’t hurt to try it (I hope!)
      I’ve had a couple people call me out on unfollowing them, and that’s actually when I knew that unfollowing them was definitely the RIGHT call. If someone is THAT concerned, they might ask if they did something to offend you, but not publicly outing you about “hey dude, why’d you unfollow me?” And yes- ‘mommy wars’- makes me SO glad I’m just a cat mommy! Can’t even imagine!

  5. I love this idea. Three negative triggers, hmmm….I really don’t like overly political/religious posts. I’m on social media to enjoy myself, not to be preached at. Also on twitter – posts made of nothing but hashtags, are clearly auto generated links, and endless retweets of giveaways or compliments (about the person who is retweeting). Oh, and check ins! I don’t care where you are at this very moment and that you are now the “mayor.” Ok, I think I listed way too many….

    1. List as many as you need! it’s what makes social media work the best FOR YOU 🙂 I’ve been feeling more politically-inclined lately, but it’s definitely almost a feeling of “holy crap, if i don’t act now, what’s gonna happen in november,” you know? More important sometimes to take a step back and focus on self-care!
      Definitely agree- the hashtags, autotweets, rt’s- all people who don’t get that social media is supposed to be social and about building relationships. Great great points!!

      Btw- are you a regular reader, or did you end up here through someone sharing the link? Either way, hiya!

  6. This is a phenomenal idea! You have gotten me hinging and I will definitely bedding my homework! Great post! Visiting you from the SoCal lady bloggers link up!

  7. What a great thought provoking post. I will have the think about what I would do to change some things.

    I am still very new at this and so everything seems like a good idea. Until I start getting some of the crap that results from that action. I have just started using to help manage Twitter and if actually gives me unfollow recommendations and explains why. That is a help but I also need to work on FB as well. Hopefully this will give the push I need to get my house in order.

    So i’ll be back to see what others are doing to help me with this as well. 🙂

  8. Oh, I SO needed to read this RIGHT NOW. Given my job, I can’t do a total cleanse, but personally…I’m all over it!

  9. I got so excited, I didn’t leave my triggers. 1) Angry political rants 2) Mommy wars 3) Judging other people about anything, really!