For years, I’ve had at least four social networks and three email accounts that I am constantly checking and updating. If I’m connected to an average of, say, 750 people on each of those networks, that is just too many status updates to read, comment on, mentally file away for the rainiest of days. And I can count on at least 400 emails a day between all three accounts. I just…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Oh hey, sorry. I’m awake now.
By the end of most days, I look like this – not because of my job (note: I LOVE MY JOB) but because of the extras. The social media extras. The email extras. ALL THE EXTRAS.
I decided that my first step in managing my online life is to simplify, simplify, simplify. Or, purge. (Insert “feeling better after the stomach flu-type analogy here).
I thought about the channels I use, and why I use them. Personal? Business? Inspiration? All of the above? Is it necessary for all channels to be all things? How can I start to narrow down the focus of how I use them and therefore disconnect from those who don’t necessarily fit within that scope?
And so, I purged. A ton. Not because I don’t care about what some folks are up to – I do, I promise! – but because I’ve found that I’m spending more time checking, less time doing.
If I’m connected to someone, there now has to be a reason. For so long and so often, that reason was “because I’m afraid to hurt people’s feelings” or “I want everyone to like me.” But since I’m not running for office anytime soon, that’s no longer necessary.
So, if you fit one of the following criteria…er, no hard feelings*? Here goes:
1) We have had no engagement – online or offline – in the past year. So buh-bye, Justin Timberlake and Tosh.0. And random cat memes. Buh-bye.
2) We only follow each other to keep tabs on the ongoing saga of each other’s relationship status (see also: EX-BOYFRIENDS)
3) You keep me around only for networking purposes or to help build your business. Love me for me, yo.
4) You channel your inner Regina George and send me harassing direct messages via twitter.
5) We are only connected because we share a mutual friend and you think you may have met me at one point, but we have never actually met.
6) We went to high school together but would likely not be able to pick each other out in a lineup now. I’m talking to you, Chemistry Class Boy.
7) You give away TV endings without posting “Spoiler Alert” (Kidding, BH. Just seeing if you’re paying attention. Love you, mean it).
I just…can’t spend so much time checking. Because I do care, I do. There are just too many of you to care about.
And for the email situation – I’m just not sure it’s going to be that easy. But as the great Jordin Sparks once said, once step at a time.