Time for Social Media Spring Cleaning! (Part 1)

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Social media has become one of the most essential things in our society. We use Facebook to reconnect with old and new friends, scroll on bite-size news on Twitter, engage with our favorite brand and content creator on Instagram, discover new hangout places on Yelp, etc.

While the main objective of social media is to simplify our daily lives, excessive use of social media can lead us to anxiety, depression, and FOMO. However, I need to address the million dollar question most social media users do not realize: How to reclaim your social media?

I am the type of person who does annual internet detox. Last year, I took a bold move to quit Instagram for 3 months because I felt extremely overwhelmed with the amount of content from brands and content creators that didn’t interest me. During my detox, I reflected on my social media habits, and after knowing my social media objective, I made a list of what to do to better my social media experience. Here are my top three social media objectives:

  1. I want to reclaim my social media feed.
  2. I only want to engage with brands/content/people I want to engage with.
  3. I only want to see contents that are related to my interest.

And so, my quest to reclaim my social media feed began. In this post, I will share some steps I took to personalize my Instagram feed.

The Time When I Did Mass Unfollow

This is arguably one of the hardest things to do on social media. Nowadays, people believe that to unfollow someone online equals to burning bridges in real life. I strongly disagree with this belief. When someone unfollows you, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to be friends with you anymore, it simply means your content is irrelevant to them. People should learn that following and unfollowing on social media is not the same with friendship. It’s only a matter of engaging content.

The Time When I Forced People to Unfollow Me

Now, let’s turn the table. What if you don’t want certain people to follow you simply because you don’t want them to view your social media feed?

I did this step based on privacy issues. As you can see on my objective, I only want to engage with people I want to engage with. This also means that I have to agree on who sees my social media behavior. For example, I want to share my Instagram feed with my sisters but I don’t want my old friends from high school to know what I have been doing.

Removing followers from your Instagram follower list is quite easy. You need to set your account to private, though. After setting your profile to private, go to your profile, tap Followers at the top of the screen, tap the three dots to the right of the username you’d like to remove and select Remove.

The Time When I Marie Kondo-ed My ‘Explore’ Feed

To understand how Instagram works, you need to understand how their algorithm works. Every time you scroll/like/comment on a post/hashtag, Instagram will count it as your interest. Imagine if you keep engaging with people liking posts/hashtags that aren’t your real interest?

Before reclaiming my feed, my ‘Explore’ feed was a major clutter with posts about Indonesian celebrities gossips, babies, Indonesian selebgram(so-called influencers), and other things I had never participated in. Long story short, I realized that this clutter happened because I engaged with people who liked these types of posts and that I had never curated my own ‘Explore’ feed.

At first, decluttering my Explore feed was a daunting task because I didn’t know how much time I have to spend each day. Turned out it was something I could do in my free time. Go to your Explore page and tap on a picture you don’t want to see. While you’re there, tap on the ellipsis icon on the upper-right side of the image, and choose the See Fewer Posts Like This button. The more frequent you do this, the more Instagram algorithm understand what images you like/dislike and soon it will start showing posts it thinks you will like. You can see my Explore feed below, it only shows posts that I often interact with.

Another thing worth doing is to follow hashtags. They are quite interesting because they show the algorithm exactly what kind of posts you like to engage in. So, if you like seeing content related to #architecture, #industrialdesign, and #bulletjournal, use the search bar on the Explore page to find and follow them.

The second part will talk about more ways to reclaim your social media feed, especially your Facebook. Subscribe to this blog so you won’t miss out!

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