Unfollow. Delete. Block.

It’s in your hands. You have control over who has access to you on social media and what you see.

I recently did a personal social media follower cleanse/purge, and it felt great.

This is another way of social distancing.

I went through my Facebook/Instagram friends and removed anyone who I haven’t talked to in years, who I don’t know well personally, who I didn’t feel was supportive or shares the same values as me.

I also went through my LinkedIn followers and I deleted certain people who have also disappointed me, didn’t stand up for me or whatever it was. I do this periodically.

If they don’t lift you up, cut them out.

Think quality over quantity always.

In an age of hyperconnectivity, it’s common to virtually connect with people we don’t know all that well. Sometimes those connections can be really positive. Other times, they’re unnecessary and don’t serve us very well.

It’s important to ensure that your social feeds are what you want them to be. It’s important that you are in control of who has access to every and anything about you.

You are not required to stay social media friends with anyone – including family – just because of your history, the fact that you went to the same school, worked at the same company or grew up in the same town.

It’s OK to have boundaries, it’s OK to keep your circle small. It’s also OK to limit what people know about you when it comes to your personal life.

You don’t have to broadcast everything that happens in your life on social. Sometimes less is more, especially now during the pandemic and in politics right now.

Me editing my connections

If you feel bombarded on social media with angry posts about politics, don’t feel guilty about “unfriending” someone. You can also try using the ‘mute’ feature on apps like Facebook or Instagram.

For the people you simply aren’t close with anymore — an old co-worker, a former college professor or a neighbor from your childhood — don’t feel guilty about removing them from social media.

Clearing out connections can make more room in your newsfeed for people you’re close with now, which is a more rewarding way to use social media. It is perfectly normal for connections with others to change over time.

The more successful you are the more haters you will have. I remember a very wise colleague telling me this years ago, and I have seen it firsthand by women in particular. I’ve been stabbed in the back by many women in my professional and personal lives. So now I have my guard up and very little tolerance for mean girls. I don’t give them access to me.

I am also very careful about who is connected to people who are no longer in my life, for example my ex. I don’t want him to know anything about my life, so I deleted anyone who is connected to him. You should feel free to use tools such as the people who viewed you on LinkedIn because it gives you valuable information on who is searching for you.

There was a time when I noticed my ex was searching for me on LinkedIn nearly every day and sometimes multiple times a day. It coincided with issues I was having at work, which seemed too coincidental. It became finally necessary to block him. I would encourage you to also have your friends and family block someone like that so that you’re protected. All of my personal social media accounts are private, as yours should also be. And I really don’t post a lot of things like I used to except about my puppies for a reason.

PS – anyone on social who makes their lives out to be perfect all the time is putting on an act. No one’s life is perfect! Perfect is bullshit. Social media use can be toxic when we use it to compare ourselves to idealized versions of others’ lives. This is why I don’t follow many so-called “influencers.”

I want my social media feeds to be filled with positive interactions, social support and social connectedness especially right now.

If you aren’t ready to delete someone from social media, you can unfollow them, which hides their posts. Don’t worry, they aren’t notified if this action.

I highly encourage the personal social media edit.

#socialmedia #personaldevelopment #selfcare #personalbranding #linkedin #socialdistancing