Cleaning Up Your Digital Life: The Social Media Cleanse

I am starting something new today and I am hoping you’ll join me. It’s called The Social Media Cleanse.

You Have Control

How much influence on your life do you think you control? Consider the potentially infinite influences: radio, television, ads, internet ads, newspapers, blogs, social media, ad nauseam. Not to mention actual people in your life with influence over you (negative or otherwise). It’s limitless. If there are so many, why do most people not control what is within their power to control?

Ever wonder how much control these influences have? I don’t even want to think about it because the number is too large. It almost makes me feel tiny and that I have very little control because there are so many. That’s my knee-jerk response. But it’s wrong. Dead. Wrong.

The very thought of not thinking one has control or that someone else isn’t in control destroys hope and is the antithesis of creativity and productivity. All that you can control is what you have direct influence on. Like whether you turn on the radio or not or turn on Facebook and waste an hour or not. You have control.

Social Media Is Not Inherently Evil

Since social media can be a tool for networking and reaching people, I’m not going to tell you to stop using it. Media outlets like Twitter and Facebook are actually just an extension of ourselves. The words we write are carrying our messages across thousands of miles. The videos and songs we create are just taking the sounds and actions we make and allow people to listen and watch from a remote location. This makes the internet a tool. Just like books or even phones. Social media isn’t evil, it’s an extension of yourself. If you wouldn’t say something in person, don’t say it online. Be yourself across all avenues.

All I am saying is use Social Media to your advantage, not against it. That’s the entire purpose of this article. We’re going to clean up the influences you have on your life.

Enter: The Social Media Cleanse. Will you join me?

We’re going to prune your existing accounts of negative influences. Though this will focus mostly on social media, I’m going to include tips on other forms of media too.

Let’s get started.

Facebook

  1. Unlike any page that doesn’t provide value. For example:
    • Any page that is consistently negative.
    • Any page that you don’t agree with (e.g. politics, religion, etc.).
    • Any page you find offensive.
    • Anything that does not provide value to your feed.
    • Currently, there is no simple way to go through liked pages and click unlike, so just keep this in mind as you use
  2. Unfriend  people who you don’t know or don’t keep in touch with. Remember it’s your Facebook. You have the right to control it. For example:
    • Any friend you weren’t close to that you have not spoken to in more than 6 months.
    • Your 7th cousin you never spoke to, never talk to, and never met.
    • Any person you literally do not know.
    • Anyone you don’t need that is consistently negative.
  3. Hide anyone that you absolutely cannot delete (because the drama is not worth your time).
    • Family member you absolutely cannot delete but is consistently negative.
    • Over time you will discover certain people are just not worth reading about. This isn’t selfish. You’re controlling the influences coming into your life. Hide them.
  4. Like pages that you think will provide value to your feed.
    • Search out any person, organization, or entity you admire and like them.
    • This is just as important as unliking the negatives pages. You want to make your feed an inviting, positive place.
  5. Unauthorize access.
    • Click hereThose are all sites you have authorized access to your account.
    • Remove them. Click the little “x” and remove anything you don’t use or you would like to stop posting on your behalf (and increase account security).
  6. Then keep it this way.
    • Think about what you’re “liking” before you click the like button.
    • Anytime you see a page update something offensive or otherwise dislike, unlike the page. There is no point in just hiding updates for a Facebook page. Just unlike it.
    • Anytime you see a “friend” post something you find offensive, hide the update or consider removing them.

Twitter

Time: 30 minutes.

Fortunately, the developers at Twitter has made the job of controlling your feed a lot easier than Facebook. The following applies to your personal twitter account. Do not use this if you are using this account for your business. This is because following people you might otherwise not follow is a legitimate way to reach people.

  1. Unfollow anyone that does not provide value to your feed. Go twitter.com/following to see the list of those you follow.
    • Any account that is consistently negative.
    • Any account that you find offensive.
    • Anything that does not provide value to your feed.
  2. Follow anyone that you think will provide value to your feed.
    • Search out any person, organization, or entity you admire and follow them.
    • Just like Facebook, this is just as important as unfollow negative people. You want to make your feed an inviting, positive place.
  3. Unauthorize access.
    1. Click hereThose are all sites you have authorized access to your account.
    2. Click “revoke access” and remove anything you don’t use or you would like to stop posting on your behalf (and increase account security).

Google +, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.

  • I think you get the point now. With the simple ideas expressed above, you can apply this to any social networking site in about an hour or less. Some sites are easier than others.
  • Don’t skip any sites. I’m serious. If you use any other sites on a regular basis, use these principles to control the influence going into your feed.

This is the tip of the iceberg. Think of how much you could clean up if you evaluated everything you use? Email, notes, desktop. Further, what if you digitized all your files?

Radio & Television

  • Do you listen to the radio?
    • Mute it during commercials or when there isn’t music playing.
    • Or stop listening to the radio. You don’t have control of the bands or music that plays, so why not try something new? Use your iPod, or Spotify.
  • Television
    • Same deal. Mute the commercials.
    • Watch online, where there’s fewer ads and you can watch at your leisure.
    • Pre-record your shows and watch them later. Or stop watching shows. Most of them are a waste of your time.

The fact is, I’m probably not teaching you anything new. I simply want you to be aware of the influences around you. Only you have control of your media input. Use what is in your control to change your influences.

Control the influence and reclaim your life.

Reclaim your life!

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3 Responses to “Cleaning Up Your Digital Life: The Social Media Cleanse”

  1. laura November 14, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    It’s funny you mention this. I just did a big fb cleanse. So freeing!

    • Loren Wade November 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      Thanks Laura! Glad to hear it. :)

  2. bobby polk February 21, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    i did a cleanse by doing all these steps and im going on day 4 of not using any social networking site.my goal is 14 days.

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