I recently declared social media bankruptcy.
Many services started to feel useless to me, and worse, some started to become very distracting. So I declared “bankruptcy” to reorganize (chapter 13) my social investments. I noticed that many of my social interactions had become dull, diluted, or distracted. In order to gain better focus for the relationships that matter, I started cutting out the biggest culprits (facebook first against the wall) and pruning any contact list which presented itself to me.
- deactivated facebook account (and I haven’t missed it one bit)
- started a new AIM handle; added 30% of “buddies” from old list
- cleaned out Yahoo! profiles
- successfully unsubscribed from dozens of mailing lists
- created GMail and procmail filters to take care of failed opt-out requests
- pruned GMail contact list from ~500 to ~100 contacts
- erased all Google Talk contacts (they were all automatically generated anyway)
- sorted important email messages, and archived all mail across all of my accounts
- sliced Skype contact list in half
- wiped out useless WordPress posts
- removed 5% of LinkedIn connections; wiped out “contact list” with ~400 people from old GMail import
- tweaked device/phone settings on twitter; made a post
- adjusted profile on a few remaining sites
Surprisingly, twitter and LinkedIn went almost completely untouched. I guess we’ve always had good relationships, perhaps twitter for its simplicity and LinkedIn for its professionalism (I really never did accept connections unless I really know someone well enough in a professional context).
I’ve now officially restructured my social activity space; it has far less clutter, far more peace of mind. It amazes me how even petty clutter can annoy so deeply.
It actually was a sort of “lab exercise” in simplifying how I use the social tools around me. I’m very happy I did it!