32 Responses to “Simplify Your Social Media”


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  1. Very well written. I totally agree with you Courtney.

    Nowadays it is not problem to follow people on Twitter, there is a lot of interesting one, but it is important to choose people, who can help, inspire you in business, personal development, etc.

    I do it myself, that I follow people who can enrich my person by their interesting life stories, experience,… this also is valid about services I am using on my PC,… just to be in touch with their latest news.

    In short: “Quality instead of quantity” – at least this works for me.

  2. This post comes just at the right time because I’m reviewing social media use in my life. Twitter is fairly new to me and I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by the number of emails saying people are following me there. I’ve decided only to follow those I know – same policy I use with “friending” on Facebook. Though I want people to know about my blog, I don’t want it to happen at the expense of solitude, reading or other non-social media pursuits. Thanks for raising an important issue.

  3. I’ve just cut out 200 people from my facebook contacts. While I value some of the information in contacts on FB, those 200 people were easy to get rid of – I can’t see myself ever contacting them in the future. It was really relieving to go through this process! It’s amazing how excess contacts can drag one down. Thanks for speaking out about this issue.

    • Courtney Carver

      Lynn, Woo Hoo! Way to go. By following fewer than 100 friends or tweeps, I feel like I have an opportunity to genuinely connect.

  4. I just wrote about the practice many people have of blindly accepting invitations to connect on social media. Why do we do this? Why do we not take the time to think through the value of the connection and then actually take action on it?

    We all struggle with “connection envy” – and it is taking the joy and the meaning out of social media…

    • Courtney Carver

      Todd – these are questions I have thought myself. Once you let go of the numbers and focus on individual connections..things get really fun!

  5. Here are a few things I’ve done to simplify my “social media life” while remaining relatively connected and active:

    1) Turned off all alerts for social media sites. I read somewhere that it takes our brain approximately 20 seconds to refocus our attention after it has been interrupted. If you’ve got new Tweet alerts, Facebook alerts, new email alerts, and any other kinds of alerts randomly popping up, your attention is taking a hit (and stress levels increase too).

    Lets say you get a total of 50 alerts per day on your computer that demand your attention at random times during the day. Suppose it takes you 5 seconds to read each alert as it comes up and lets be a little conservative and say that it takes your brains 15 seconds to refocus. That’s four days per year you spend on alerts! Four entire days!

    I turned my alerts off ever since realizing this. For email, I turned off Facebook notifications for everything except messages and friend requests. I want to be in control of when I give my attention away, not have it slowly nibbled at by a computer.

    2) Accept that you will not be able to read everything that your friends post. There comes a point where you have so many friends that you could spend hours a day trying to catch up with everything. There just isn’t enough value being posted to make it worth that much time.

    Instead, treat social networks like Facebook and Twitter as rivers of information that you occasionally sip from instead of trying to drink the entire thing. I never read all the messages posted on my Twitter & Facebook timelines. I when I login, I glance at what’s visible on the screen and if I see anything interesting, I retweet/reply to it.

    3) Learn to become a pro at speedreading content (aka skimming). Learn to breeze through the fluff and grab the main points of each paragraph. After practicing this for a while, you’ll learn to recognize articles and blog posts that are particularly interesting to you and that you want to really read in depth.

    I “read” hundreds and hundreds of blog posts every week in my RSS reader. I do this by skimming titles, discarding stuff that I immediately recognize as being of no interest and move on to the next. When I find something interesting that I feel I have something valuable to add, I’ll leave a comment (like I’m doing here).

    4) Schedule tweets. Some people feel this makes you seem fake, but I totally disagree. In this world of information, you want to be sharing interesting and valuable articles. If you tweet ten blog posts in one hour and then nothing for the remaining 23 hours, it’s unlikely that a majority of your friends will even see what you tweeted (this is even more true if you’re someone like me and only read the last 20 or so tweets).

    Since the Internet is global and you’re likely to have friends in multiple timezones, you can provide a constant stream of valuable information by spreading it out. This increases the chances that one of your friends will see one of the valuable things you’ve tweeted.

    Whenever I process my RSS reader (about every 2-3 days right now), I retweet every article that I find interesting or valuable. But instead of sending the tweet out immediately, I use HootSuite to schedule the tweets, spacing them 2 or 3 hours apart.

    Other than that, it’s like you said about being careful who you choose to “friend”. When someone follows me on Twitter, I carefully decide whether or not to follow them. If they don’t seem like someone I would genuinely be interested in talking to (i.e., if I have absolutely nothing in common with them), then I don’t follow them back.

  6. George Stnson

    It was interesting to know that “un-friending” someone is not personal. Sometimes you start to think someone will be upset or hurt because you dropped them or dropped the twit. I now realize they don’t know me at all. So I can now drop and pick up new twits without fear of recrimination.
    Thanks for cutting to the chase

  7. Timely message, Courtney. I’m burning out lately on social media, and I’m such a social media newbie (3 months in and it’s already too much). Today, I’m pulling back on who I follow on Twitter and I’ve blocked seeing a bunch of people on Facebook. Life has already reached a manageable pace. I also going to unfollow anyone who tweets more than 20 times a day. Enough already! As you say, the key is to be more and do less. Quality over quantity. Let the madness stop.

  8. Courtney,
    This really hits home with me. I’ve been on Facebook for about year and find it to be a big black hole that sucks up time, to be honest. I did start a fan page for Powered by Intuition – which is good. It’s really just another place to announce that you’ve put out another post; which is okay.

    Twitter on the other hand…..I’m more burned out on. I really can’t think of much I want to say on there. I don’t have the time to look up all sorts of meaningful quotes, nor do I wish to announce to the world what I’m doing at the moment.

    Paring down to the people who matter on all of these media makes sense.

    Thanks for this excellent post….oh, and I’ll be Retweeting if you don’t mind! (we want to stop but we can’t….)

  9. I am easily distracted in general and social media makes it worse! I now have set periods of time where I pay attention to it and then I ignore it to get something else done. I will look into Raam’s suggestion of HootSuite too. I also have my personal Facebook pared down to people I actually know.

  10. Nin

    On the topic of social media I was wondering if you had any recommendations for simple e-mail and/or rss reader systems? I don’t have twitter, linkedin, facebook – nothing like that. I have been asked to guest post to a mindfullness blog a couple of times but otherwise my internet presence is solely through comments (which I usually feel too shy to do unless I feel really helped/intrigued – like I have been with your blog, obviously!) and my e-mail and rss reader. I used to have hotmail but after no longer being comfortable with certain of their ways I got google mail – which I am beginning to re-think because of all of the flash and widgets and possibilities. I like their reader but there has to be a simpler way? Hope it’s okay that I ask :)

  11. Stephen

    Very well written and lots of good advice. Agree totally with not being ‘alerted’. Anything requiring your immediate attention won’t be coming that way. Really enjoyed the article and followup comments.

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