Curating Who You Follow On Social

By @TheMarkDalton

Something that has cropped up every now and then is people noticing on Facebook that I have unfriended them or people who are asking me to add them as a friend on Facebook and I just don’t do it.

Back when I was in my early twenties and Facebook was taking off, people wanted as many friends as they could possibly get. It was a big numbers game at the time, it still is but not as much as it was back then.

At some point I got fed up of reading people’s shit, particularly on Facebook, and I closed off that particular circle very quickly. People get pretty offended when you unfriend them on Facebook and they get pretty upset when you don’t add them.

However I started taking a new approach to who I was following across social media in general at the time and I stopped approaching with this silly notion of if you follow me then I will do the great honour of following you back.

I believe that every follow is earned, if you want to follow me on social media then great but don’t expect me to feel obliged to follow back. That was something I was victim of at one point, following for the sake of following and I know its a hole many people fall in to.

When I see people pulling in 35K followers on Twitter and they follow 33K then I know that is the trap you have fallen in to and sure your account grows but mainly with people who just want that follow back, it is not a bad thing but you may find your feed getting crazy cluttered and that can take some of the fun from social. Maybe its time to take back some of that control and see just what you want to see?

Quite simply, I decided to clean up who I was following on every single platform because if you are posting in a negative manner or if you are posting content that I just don’t care about and have no interest in then why would I want to follow you? Because you are family? Nope, I have even started unfollowing family on some social media platforms because I’m just not personally interested in what you are posting.

So when you start culling people on social media what happens to the experience? It gets so much better. When I cleaned up Instagram, Facebook and Twitter I found that my feeds were full of things I actually wanted to see and I wasn’t running into a bunch of content that I just had no interest in.

On Twitter, unfollowing is a regular occurrence for me. It is far from personal but I follow accounts and find out in the first number of days that I’m not as interested as I thought I was. Curating your social feeds means you go through the process of following and unfollowing – tweak the feed until you get it the way you want, add and then take away as necessary.

Don’t feel that you should keep following people on social media because it is the ‘right and proper thing to do’ but follow people because they bring you value.

Now, I know that some people will be thinking – oh I can’t just cut people out, if they notice then I will end up having an awkward conversation with them and I just don’t want that. Luckily social platforms are advancing somewhat to help you out and there may be an option where you can remain friends and not see any of their bad content.

On Facebook you can unfollow someone which means that you stay friends with them but none of their updates appear on your News Feed in Facebook so you don’t have to be burdened by things you just don’t want to see.

On Twitter you can mute users as well as keywords and conversations so you can still give them that coveted follower number but not have to experience them posting on the platform. Of course you should take note that it also mutes interaction so they might wonder why they are tweeting you but you never tweet back. Muting is a tool which I have used from time to time before on Twitter, sometimes you follow businesses to DM and sticking them on mute could be an option if you don’t want them in your timeline too. Use it whatever way you see fit but just be aware that sticking someone on mute means you hear nothing from them at all, even when they try interacting directly with you.

Everyone will approach curation a different way but for me I have found that taking back control of my social feeds and getting rid of all that junk has been one of the best moves I have made on social media recently.