Decluttering : Social Media

October 18, 2015

I have a confession. About a year or so ago, I created a Bloglovin’ account. That’s not the confession, hang about. The confession is that I went a little nuts completely overboard filling it with subscriptions to every single blogger on the planet that I simply liked the look of. Because social media is all about connecting with other people and that must mean the more the merrier, right? WRONG. (For me, anyway). Here’s what happened…

Recently, I found I was missing a lot of posts from my favourite bloggers and was kicking myself about it because I like to show support. I like to connect with people through what they write and the photos they take. I hated that I was missing posts and found myself wondering “Wouldn’t it be GREATΒ if there was some central place I could go to read up on all my favourite blogs? I’d never miss another post – it’d be FANTASTIC! Why doesn’t that exist?” OH WAIT. It totally does and I already have an account for it -.-

The problem was that I had FILLED my Bloglovin’ stream to the brim, filled it to the point of not actually being able to use it anymore. I made the exact social media outlet I needed into something completely dysfunctional. Once this dawned on me, I knew what was needed – a slash and burn session. Usually these are reserved only for late nights in undergrad when I was trying desperately to get my essay word count down from 2450 to 1800 (…what? I had a lot to say about the aetiology and treatment of sexual dysfunction!). But sometimes, you’ve gotta bring these sessions out every now and then. This was one such occasion. It probably sounds harsher than it was…though I was pretty cut-throat. I went through all of the blogs I followed and checked out their latest posts and culled them if I didn’t find them interesting.

Some people might find that mean or negative but, really, it was the nicest and most positive thing I could do for everyone involved. Here’s why:

  • It was nice because I was no longer an empty number among people’s followers. I felt like I was essentially saying “Oh hi, I like you and the things you post” by following them but then not actually delivering on that by interacting with their stuff at all. I wasn’t being a genuine follower, in my opinion. Of course, I’m presuming this is what most other bloggers out there want from their followers – interaction and connection. That’s how I like to approach things and I felt pretty bad about treating other bloggers differently to how I want to be treated.
  • It wasΒ positive because I felt incredibly free afterwards. How insane is that? I had previously felt weighed down, even a little anxious and guilty, by all the UNREAD posts that I just shut them all out. Like when you’ve got a pile of clothes and shoes and boxes and knick knacks piled high and you whimper every time you look at it all so you just shove everything in a cupboard and force the door to close. By having a clear out, I felt like I was able to actually enjoy using the reading tool for the purpose it is intended for.

I found a phenomenal amount of blogs and bloggers I was “following” that I didn’t even recognise. And so many beauty blogs! I’m not at all interested in beauty blogs! I also found that I was “following” people’s profiles as well as their blogs, which was often redundant (side note: I think Bloglovin’ are looking to remove the profile function or combine it with the blog function). Now I actively want to check my Bloglovin’ feed to see what has been posted so now I never miss a post. I’m interacting more with other bloggers because I no longer feel overwhelmed by how many new posts there are. This whole thing is meant to be fun, yo! If you’re not having fun, maybe decluttering your social media is something you could do too?

Jacquie

P.S. This is, of course, just my own personal experience. If you like following large numbers of people and their blogs then, by all means, I take my hat off to you! Each to their own, people!

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14 Comments
    1. Hi Jacquie! What an interesting post and insight into your blog-reading approach. A slash n burn session sounds good to me. I must admit I only read about 5-10 blogs regularly (obviously yours is one!), and I rarely use Bloglovin. I just type in the blog address most of the time. I find this means I’m only reading blogs that I think ‘Oh, I wonder if they’ve posted lately, I hope so…will just pop over and check.’ I don’t think we should ever need to feel guilty or anxious about our online reading (or lack of)…too many other things in life to feel like that about! x

      1. Hi Isabel! Yeah, I used to do the same but then I just forgot to check them and it completely slipped my mind so I thought I’d give Bloglovin’ a go. I’d never even known about Feedly or Google Reader when it was around so Bloglovin’ seemed like a fantastic idea. And it is! I just went too hard too fast :/ I agree – I was so shocked when I realised how anxious and guilty I felt over it all and thought “How stupid is this! I’m being so melodramatic!” but I really did feel uncomfortable about the whole thing and hated using the app. Much better now though! Thanks Isabel πŸ˜€ x

    1. It’s a hard one isn’t it! I read a lot of blogs (and other stuff) and at times am overwhelmed by it all. I have many interests from the very deep to the very superficial – I like to be mentally challenged but like eye candy as well. Being a blogger, you really want your audience to engage with you, “get what you are saying, and develop a relationship with you. I can’t speak for all writers – but this writer (me) wants to be read. You know, it’s okay to change your mind and slash and burn some sites – when you are ready to return they will be there waiting for you.

      1. It is a pickle! I am the same as you I think – I like a range of topics from a range of different writers too. And I want the same from my readership – I want to connect with people and get to know them. I think it’s okay to do a slash and burn every now and then too πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by, Inese!

    1. I think we have to be a little easier on ourselves with social media and blog following – I think it’s okay to follow the things that you are truly interested in and leave the rest. Google cards on my phone has this really nifty feature where it shows when the websites I visit often are updated. So I get the new posts straight away. I know I could do this via email (or Blog Lovin’) but email goes straight to promotions (grrr…) and my Blog Lovin’ suffers the same problems yours did.

      1. I think so too, Robyna! It’s so easy to get swept up in the tidal wave of liking everyone and following their blogs but it often isn’t meaningful, which saddens me. I want to engage with other bloggers as much as possible. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of other bloggers, perhaps the majority even, have a similar experience with apps like Bloglovin’. Thanks for your comment, Robyna πŸ™‚

    1. I love this idea Jacquie, I really need to get myself sorted following blogs, I’ve got them popping in as emails, on my wordpress feed and some of my absolute faves I don’t even follow, I just pop over regularly to make sure I haven’t missed any. Sound advice logged onto my to do list – thanks! πŸ™‚

      1. It’s hard to get it organised, isn’t it Yvette? That’s what was so appealing about Bloglovin’ to start with! And then I let it get out of hand and it just snowballed. I feel much better about it all after going through and culling – now just to find the time to read the posts… πŸ˜› I really would recommend it though – hope it goes well when you get round to it. Thanks for your comment, Yvette.

    1. I can completely relate to this! I regularly cull and rearrange the blogs I follow on Feedly. Not to be mean (not at all!) but because my interests and circumstances change, and if I realise I haven’t properly read or interacted with a blog in months and months, I have to admit it might be time to move on (at least for a little while). More than once, I’ve circled back to a blog again. Even doing this, I am permanently WAY behind in reading people’s blogs, and rarely get time to comment (hello! here I am!), so I guess they don’t know I’m reading, but that doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying what they create.

      1. Hello! I think you are spot on Naomi! I feel the exact same way. It felt so weird (and also confusing!) to find a blog in my list of ones I was following that I had never heard of, or at least couldn’t remember. And as I went through the list, I got quite angry and indignant! It was a strange process. But so very cathartic. I feel SO much better for it. Now just to find the time to sit down and read through these wonderful blogs! I think I’m also always going to be behind in reading posts and certainly in commenting but, as you say, even if I don’t manage to comment or share I am still loving what they do. Thanks so much for your comment, Naomi πŸ™‚

    1. Oh, I have been here! I used to subscribe to a frightening amount of blogs via Google Reader, and I would only ever skim the posts and look at the pictures, or even mark some posts as read when I hadn’t even looked at them (sneaky!). It wasn’t satisfying for me, and as you say, I’m sure it’s not want the blogger wants either.
      I’m now having the exact same problem with Instagram. I’ve started doing a very gradual slash and burn but I’m struggling with the FOMO (fear of missing out!) on some integral or amazing post. Ridiculous, right?

      1. Yes! I did the same with Instagram and did a massive slash and burn earlier on in the year. The kicker for me with Instagram was noticing I was regularly flicking past photos from accounts I had no interest in and then realising that I actually had full control over what came into my news feed *MASSIVE LIGHTBULB MOMENT* Same thing with Bloglovin’ (I just started on Twitter too!). The thing I’ve noticed with Instagram is that when I did my massive slash and burn, I lost maybe 20-30 followers myself, presumably because a lot of people work on a “I’ll only follow you if you follow me” principle. I don’t abide by that myself but I guess I can see where they’re coming from. I still found it interesting though. Thanks for your comment, Catherine – always nice to see your name pop up! πŸ˜€

    1. Ew, I did the same thing and immediately hated Bloglovin, even though I thought it was wonderful when I first signed up. I wanted to track every pretty blog everywhere. It’s looking better now, but I still have some serious editing to do!

      1. Isn’t it the worst?? I’m a bit annoyed at myself for falling down the rabbit hole of liking everyone and anyone (almost!) but I’m just glad I have a Bloglovin’ account that’s actually functional now! I’m glad yours is looking better too. Now I just need to find the time to use it and catch up on everyone’s posts :/ Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Jeanette.

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