A new year always inspires us to clean up our eating habits, our workout schedules and our surroundings. But what about cleaning up our digital lives? With the average American spending up to 11 hours a day with electronic media, your digital life can get as cluttered as your kitchen counters.
Just like clutter in your closet or counters can lead to stress, so can clutter in your digital life. Here are easy ways to clean up your inbox, Facebook feed, Twitter account and Instagram pics.
#1: Tackle Your Inbox
Sure you may get a lot of emails, but I'm guessing most of your inbox clutter comes from advertisements and newsletters. While you can go through the tedious process of clicking on the "unsubscribe" button at the bottom of each each, an easier solution is to use Unroll.me. This genius application goes through your email to give you a single list of everything you are subscribed to - yes EVERYTHING. You may be shocked to discover all the lists you are on. Then, instead of clicking one by one, you can unsubscribe yourself from anything and everything you no longer care about on one simple page.
I've used Unroll.me in the past, but just logged on right now and I had 878 NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS!! 878 people sending me emails that take my time, clog up my inbox and most likely annoy me. I took 10 minutes and cut that number in half and will come back later and finish up the rest.
If you want, Unroll.me even goes a step further with their Rollup email which combines all your subscriptions you kept and want to receive (think Groupon deals, Facebook updates, newsletter from your favorite business guru) into single category specific email.s So instead of getting 7 or 10 different emails every day or week from brands you like and follow, you'll get one daily digest. And don't worry - your RollUp folder on your email will still keep an individual copy of those emails so if you want to forward, let's just say an awesome contest in the Momtrends newsletter (cough, cough) to your newly pregnant sister, it's easy to do that.
#2: Refresh Your Facebook Feed
Have you ever scrolled through your Facebook feed and gotten annoyed at the ump-teen picture updates from Friend A, endless sales posts from Friend B and why for the love do you have to scroll through so much to find out what your favorite cousin is up to? Instead of swearing off Facebook, here's how you can clean up your feed to only see what you want.
Choose what you see first - Hate having to wade through lots of other updates to see what your bestie has posted recently? Use News Feed preferences to curate what you see first in your news feed. On your computer, go to the little arrow to the right of your name and scroll down to News Preferences. On your phone, make sure you have the latest app version and then go to More, Settings and News Feed Preferences. Then you can click to select all those favorite people whose updates you want to show up at the top of your feed.
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Unfollow "friends" - Have any Facebook friends who you don't want to unfriend but also don't really want to see in your feed? Use Facebook's Unfollow feature to hide updates from people, pages or groups on your page while not officially unfriending them. You'll still appear as "friends" on Facebook, but you just won't see them in your feed. And no, they won't get any alert that you've stopped following them.
Get better ads - While you can't eliminate ads from your feed, you can ensure they are more relevant to you. Tap the down arrow in the upper right hand corner of an ad and select “Why am I seeing this?” You'll see an explanation of why you're seeing the ad and a link to manage yourAd Preferences.
Tidy Up Twitter
While Twitter only allows you to block or mute accounts, there are a number of third-party apps that can help you tidy up your Twitter account. Manageflitter offers the option to see who has unfollowed you - so you can decide if you want to unfollow them too. You can also see accounts that don't have a profile image or inactive accounts that haven't posted in the last 30 days. I also like that you can see who is talkative and who is quiet as well as the most influential people you follow.
Also, curious about what your Twitter personality looks like from the outside? Use the free tool at AllMyTweets to get an archive of your last 3k+ tweets.
Yes, these applications all will ask for access to your Twitter account, but after you use them, you can always go into App settings and revoke their access if you're nervous.
Improve Your Instagram Feed
The simplest way to clean up your Instagram feed is to simply scroll through and unfollow anyone whose posts make you feel bad, roll your eyes, get angry, or that you simply don't care about. I did this a few weeks ago and it was so liberating! Life is too short to follow people because you think you should or because they follow you. If their posts don't interest you or make you feel joy, simply remove them! Click on their name and then uncheck the green "Following" button. You can also go to your profile page, click on your following number and a list of all the accounts you follow will come up.
For even more clean up, you can install an application like InstaFeedCleaner that will let you see a list of your followers/followees and their recent activity toward your photos, remove ghost accounts, and allow you to easily unfollow people. Another one, IGExcorcist claims that it will "quickly determine followers who have not been engaged with you in recent times and then, in bulk, have them unfollow you." Inappropriate accounts trying to follow your public Instagram account? You can report them or block them to keep them from being able to comment on or see your posts by clicking on the three little dots on the bottom right of an Instagram image.
Ahh, now....doesn't that feel better? Your time is too precious to be wasted on emails, posts, or pics that bring you down. Here's to a new year with big goals, less clutter, and cleaner feeds.
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