instagram detox: clean up your online spaces to be less tired and more inspired

One thing I have always been known for is immediately unfollowing people. I have zero guilt about unfollowing people in my social media spaces that annoy me, people who make me envious (detrimentally, at least), people who post too many ads, people who make me feel like I need to spend my money, people who post about stuff that I don't care about, and just generally people who detract from my personal social media experience. This assertive approach to trimming who is allowed on my scroll feed absolutely does not translate to real life (there are plenty of people who I'd love to get coffee with but that I don't follow on Instagram!), but considering how much time most of us spend on social media, I thought I'd pass along some tips and tricks that have helped me. This is mainly about Instagram, since I don't have twitter/snapchat and barely use facebook, but I'm sure you could make some of these tips applicable to every social media platform!

First off, I know not everyone is as chill with unfollowing as I am. That's okay; you probably have your own reasons for why unfollowing someone doesn't appeal to you. Unfollowing people that no longer serve your interests is obviously the most fool-proof way to clean up your Instagram scroll, but there are other ways to get around that!

  1. Muting. Muting is the best. If you click on someone's profile and then the arrow underneath their name, you'll have the option to mute their stories or posts (or both). This is particularly useful for people who bother you but you still want to check up on from time to time, or meme or travel pages that just post WAY too much. Even if they're on private, you can go see their content whenever you want to, on your terms, but it doesn't clog your newsfeed with all 19 posts and infinite story dots from what they posted that day.

  2. Take immediate action. I know a lot of people who dislike this approach, but I unfollow/mute someone the second they post anything that I don't vibe with. Usually I'll click on their profile, scroll through their last few feed posts/highlights, and then make a decision there if I want to unfollow them. If not, I'll mute, and then if I don't think about them or miss their posts for about a week, then I go and unfollow. If their absence doesn't detract from your Instagram experience, their presence is adding no value. Cut that out.

  3. Interact with the pages you want to see more of. The algorithm is a nebulous thing, but one thing most people agree on is that Instagram shows you what you engage with most. If you follow a TON of people, likely not everybody's posts are shown right away in your feed, or even after infinite scrolling you can't get through everything. Like and comment and save your friends' posts so that Instagram puts them higher up in the feed for you.

  4. Think about why you follow specific pages. Do you follow them to know when there's sales happening? Sign up for their email list instead. When they have a code to a product you like? You can always check back when you're getting ready to buy that product anyway. Because you're friends? Your friendship shouldn't be impacted by your level of online connection. Further, if your friends irritate you on social media . . . are you even that close? Because you used to really enjoy following them? Doesn't matter what they used to do. Pages and social media presences change and evolve, so you shouldn't feel weird about your following list doing the same thing. Or . . . are you following them because you enjoy seeing their posts and they're adding value to your Instagram experience right now? If it's any reason other than the last, you don't need to be following them.

  5. Go through your following list periodically. Some accounts just stop posting, and you'd never unfollow them without checking your list of accounts. I do this once every 6 months. Sometimes I unfollow a lot of people; sometimes none. The more you unfollow as you see people posting things you're not impressed by (for whatever reason!), the less often you'll have to go through your following list.

  6. Get rid of the guilt. Your social media spaces are designed to be curated locations that gather things that YOU like. Whether you follow someone or not should have exactly NO bearing on your friendship with that person. Many times, companies play on the tendency of people to not unfollow them to overload feeds and stories with posts about tempting sales and codes. Your Instagram feed could quite literally be costing you money that you don't have.

That's just a couple of tips. Comment your own over on lexdesk's Instagram page if you have more to share!