Much of social media is noise, especially the algorithmic feed. It’s included in every social media app. It’s designed like a slot machine to keep you coming back. Every time you pull the lever there’s a small chance for a rewarding dopamine hit. It’s time to let go of the feed. It’s time to become a friend again and not a follower.
The feed gives you feelings of FOMO, outrage, and quick dopamine hits. It’s trying to make someone else’s problem your problem. There’s always some trend, event, or idea you’re missing out on. But if you compare the time you spent consuming versus the time you actually do something with that information, you’ll notice the balance is gone.
The good news is, you don’t have to delete all your social media accounts to free yourself from the chains of the feed. You can unfollow everyone and everything while remaining friends on the platforms. In this blog, I’ll show you the fastest way to do so.
Unfollow, not unfriend
Unfollow everyone, all pages, and groups. This way you can start fresh and re-follow a small selection of people you like to stay in touch with.
Stop drinking from a firehose, and consciously choose which information you want to consume.
How to do it?
I’ve linked various guides below depending on the social media platform. The good news is that you can mostly do it automatically with a script.
Twitter – Unfollow Everyone After unfollowing all I created a private list of 10-20 people who provide the most value to me.
Bonus: Change the location for your Twitter trending tab to Kazachstan or something so you don’t get the annoying trends anymore.
Instagram – There is no way to unfollow people without unfriending them. However you can mute stories and/or posts. I’d suggest you unfollow all influencers and follow only people you’ve spoken to in the last 1-2 years (exceptions apply).
A calmer feed
I recently discovered 1Feed.app. It creates a feed of people instead of updates. This way you only see the latest updates from the people instead of it getting dominated by the one who posts the most. Alternatively, you can use Mailbrew to build your own curated email digest which you’ll receive weekly. I’ve found it to be a good summary of the most popular things of the week.
Time to connect again
It might be unpleasant to unfollow everyone on your timeline. It can show how weak some of your relations have become or that they never existed in the first place. Perhaps you have para-social relationships with influencers.
Social media can give you the feeling you have an active social life. But consuming is not the same as connecting. This can be quite a wake-up call if you unfollow people and find out that you were a follower and not a friend.
It can feel like you are deleting relationships. But if you are honest with yourself many of them have been long dead anyway. Either try to reconnect or let go of seeing them in your feed. Don’t hold on to what is no more.