We talk a lot about physically de-cluttering here on SL & Co., in fact, our most recent post laid out six super helpful tips for keeping your home clean all the time, but one area we don't often think about de-cluttering is our online presence.
As much of our lives are wrapped up in social media, it's easy to get overwhelmed by needless emails, disengaged followers, and photos or posts that don't inspire us. I'm a firm believer that one of the main purposes of social media is to not only connect us to others but to inspire and boost our creativity, so if your social media pages feel anything but inspiring, it's time to do something about it.
I recently took steps to simplify my social media accounts and, similar to physically de-cluttering, I immediately felt a weight lifted. It's strange how something intangible like Instagram photos or an irrelevant post on Facebook can become a burden after a while.
Does that sound familiar to you? If so, here are four actionable steps you can take today to lighten your "digital load" and ensure you're only seeing post from people who inspire you.
1. Unsubscribe from random newsletters:
We all get them. E-mails from Forever 21 that we signed up for to get a discount. The newsletter of a once loved blogger whose posts aren't really relevant to our lives anymore. And worst of all, emails from companies who just want your money.
Unsubscribe. It's as simple as that. Limit your inbox to the newsletters of only the most inspiring people (hopefully SL&Co. makes the cut! If you're not subscribed to our (rather infrequent) updates you can do so here). A few of my favorite newsletters are from The Higgins Creative, Melyssa Griffin, and Becoming Minimalist. I also subscribe to emails from some of my favorite clothing lines like My Sister and IMBY or causes I feel passionately about like IJM or Dressember.
Decide what issues and topics are most important to you and eliminate the rest. It's so refreshing not to wake up to 30+ new emails from spam accounts every day.
2. Un-follow accounts that don't inspire you:
There is a lot of pressure on social media to participate in "follow for follow" threads or to follow accounts you don't really love in hopes that they'll follow you back. While there are certainly benefits in this method for growing your reach and audience, at a certain point, it can get exhausting to see photos from 100's or 1,000's of people you don't really know.
It may sound harsh, but there's nothing wrong with un-following if someone's content doesn't help or inspire you in some way. For me, Instagram is my biggest source of inspiration. I love scrolling through my feed and seeing gorgeous coffee shots, inspiring capsule wardrobes, and awesome mama's loving on their babies. But I absolutely don't feel pressured to follow everyone that follows me.
The same goes for any platform- Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, you name it.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others:
I know, this one is less tangible and way easier said than done. But, honestly, it's by far the most important step.
Social media allows people to pick a version of themselves to present to their followers. It's normal, and not necessarily a bad thing, but seeing so much "perfection" can easily lead to discontent within your own life/figure/possessions/significant other.
For example, in order to attract the right people to my blog (you!), I'm very careful with what I post to my social media accounts. I try very hard to be genuine- I'm far from perfect and my followers know it- but I don't share every area of my life online. Although I'm aware of the blogging industry's obsession with perfectly staged photos and flawlessly styled outfits, I do my best to stay true to myself and not worry about if I'm measuring up to my "competition".
The same goes for everyone- if an account causes you you question your value or make you feel less-than, unfollow. You are enough; no matter how perfectly staged your photos are.
4. Limit Your Screen Time:
Finally, though social media is a great thing and it's so useful in many ways, it's important to not let it take the place of "real life" interactions. We can all relate to technology addiction in some way, since it literally permeates our society.
Learn to set boundaries for yourself. Set specific times for checking social media (and specific times not to). Be intentional with your scrolling and try not to use it just as a space filler.
Did this post strike a chord? Be sure to register for our FREE e-mail course that will dive even deeper to de-cluttering your online presence and help you "take back social media".
Click here to register. I can't wait!