Unsubscribe, unfollow, unfriend to avoid burnout

Reading a comment in a favorite blog yesterday, a blog I normally read in my Google Reader, but that I clicked through to from a Tweet, made me wonder how many people keep track of those who unsubscribe, unfollow, and unfriend? And do I feel bad for doing all of those things? Or when it happens to me?
I decided the answer is no, not really. Especially if it helps manage time and computer resources. I don’t even know how you keep track of that un stuff. Some have so many friends and followers and readers it seems to me a few folks rearranging their online lives wouldn’t make much difference. It shouldn’t. The Internet is a big place.

Here’s why I clean up my online act and why you might want to spend some time this weekend cleaning up too.

Multiple subscriptions
The bonk on my head came one busy day when I looked at the overwhelming number of unread posts in my Google Reader, some 900 each week, or so it seemed. I have subscribed to certain blogs, but also followed or subscribed via Blogger, as well as Networked Blogs. Each one of those creates a subscription. So at one point I had three Billy Coffey’s, THREE Katdishes, and three of quite a few blogs. And for whatever reason, even if you mark all the posts as read, they come back unread later in the day or evening. In triplicate. No brainer, unsubscribe and make a decision which is the best way to subscribe, then stick to that choice when new blogs of interest pop up.

Time management & focus
Time is more limited these days, I’m in a different house, different state, different state of mind than I was a year or two ago. I’m no longer professionally focused on church administration, and the life of the church. My own personal spiritual walk is in an entirely different place too. I don’t have a staff anymore and I’m not relied on as the go to source for resources, so I ended those blog follows especially if I was finding those unread most weeks. I might stay linked to the website or blogger through Facebook or Twitter. That’s because a glance tells me whether a post is something I can use. Or I might end that direct follow too and let another more multi interested person be my guide via their tweets or notes on Facebook.

Friends & Follows
I’ve unfriended former coworkers, former vendors, and former members, especially when space needed to be put between us. I’ve even unfriended a family member who kept posting swears in the status and questionable pictures. I’m image driven so a picture stays in my head for a long time. In fact I won’t subscribe or follow anyone who does graphic, disgusting, or porn. Period. I block those that do.

Do you use Twitter lists? It’s kind of a cool way to follow but not follow, but categorize someone to a specific list, which keeps the “noise” in a pocket you can check when you want. Cool tool. Even better, in Tweetdeck you can put your lists on your view across your deck.

Multiple multiples
Does it make sense to follow multiple people who tweet the same links, retweet the same tweets, and several times per day, which feeds their Facebook and takes up space in your newsfeed? And, so you have the same stuff in Twitter you have in Facebook? I think not. These take up valuable real estate, preventing view of those you’d really like to keep track of. This might happen if you focus on a small area of interest or group of people. If these same people promote each other suggesting I follow the other, what sense does that make? None. Give me a Queen or King of all things and call it done. Some people are better than others at thoughtful recommendations, I bet you know what I mean. Use them as your guide.

There are others who talk about unfollowing and quieting down your online stuff. I mostly agree with everything in this article called 20 reasons people unfollow. I also agree with Chris Brogan’s post today, Silence as Business Edge, but I think it’s a personal edge as well.

Google Reader, iGoogle, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, LinkedIn, Windows Live, etc are different tools to use, different connections. It’s like having a microwave, a toaster oven, a wall oven, and an outdoor grill. They need to be maintained and used correctly or you can end up burned out on social media.



About Robin Arnold

Reader, writer, gardener, geek, maker of homes in several states, now settled in Virginia with husband Bob, and Hazel and Wilson the tabby cats.
This entry was posted in Blogging. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Unsubscribe, unfollow, unfriend to avoid burnout

  1. jasonS says:

    You make good points, Robin. I have had to deal with those multiple subscriptions and also just trying to find some focus in the midst of everything. We just have to maintain it and keep up so we don't get so overwhelmed. Important!Thanks Robin. You are such a blessing. 🙂

  2. katdish says:

    I don't use a reader. I know everyone swears by them, but it just gets too overwhelming to me. I probably miss some great stuff, but there's only so much time I can spend in front of the computer without interferring with my non-virtual life.

  3. Robin Arnold says:

    I first got "permission" to unfollow reading Zac Smith's blog post about weeding things down because of his health and need to focus on his family. I remember thinking there's a man with priorities straight. Kathy, your blogroll on your blog is terrific. I can see why you don't use a reader. I use a reader to consolidate all my interests and ones not included over in my own list of favorites. I don't like using RSS feeds to my e-mail which I suppose is an option. Thanks for stopping by today!

  4. i have noticed over the years, that in everything there is a flow. people are continually coming and going, never knowing, really, the time frame that each person will have in any given thing or place.

  5. Robin Arnold says:

    Your comment makes me smile Nancy. I think flow is a very good thing.

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