I love that technology allows me to work from any location on the planet, stream Stranger Things at Panera and buy the latest Anita Shreve book at 11 p.m. from the comfort of my bed – and my yoga pants.
What can be overwhelming, though, is the constant chatter in my in-box and social media feeds. To quiet the chaos, I’ve taken a few steps to better curate the content that I’m receiving. Here’s how:
- In the wise words of Marie Kondo, unsubscribe to any email newsletters that no longer bring you joy. OK, so maybe those weren’t Marie’s words exactly but you get the idea. What was once relevant to your work or personal life may have outlasted its usefulness. Instead of deleting the riffraff each day, week, month, simply click “unsubscribe” and divorce the sender for good.
- Facebook can be a time suck. You log on to check if the photos from your daughter’s latest soccer game have been posted and you’re bombarded by friends selling everything from essential oils to wrinkle cream, political posts and *gasp* fake news. And if you’re like me, you “like” a lot of business pages: new restaurants, island resorts that you’d like to visit, the Star Trek actor with the funny memes, the cabinet-refacing company you used four years ago. If you see posts from companies, groups or even people who no longer need or deserve your attention, “unfollow” themto create a more focused newsfeed. Unfollowing a friend doesn’t “unfriend” them, it just means you’ll need to go to their page to see their posts. And, if you see an ad in your stream that you’d rather not see, click the three dots in the upper right corner of the ad to adjust your advertising settings. A quick click can create lasting calm.
- If you feel overwhelmed by the onslaught of tweets that you’re seeing on Twitter, a good way to create targeted news streams is to create lists. Creating a list essentially creates a channel. I’ve created a bunch of lists – writers, healthcare, politics, women’s issues, local, etc. – for the subjects that I’m interested in, and have assigned the Twitter accounts that I follow to one or more lists. Only want to see sports news? Create a “sports” list, add the sports figures that you follow to it, and you won’t see anything about the Kardashians (well, one can hope). And, going through the accounts you follow on Twitter is a great time to refine the list and unfollow those that are no longer relevant.
Your time is valuable. By using some of it to fine-tune your information streams, you’ll separate the wheat from the chaff and drill down to the news and entertainment (read: memes) that are truly meaningful to you.