Did You Ask for this Junk?

“Social media is full of junk,” says my friend Jorg (not his real name), who is proud not to be on Facebook, “and I don’t really care about my friends’ photos from holidays, weddings and gyms.”

There’s something to it – time to time, the Zombie Scroll gets me too. and only when it’s too late I realize that I burned precious 20 minutes of my day consuming pointless posts delivered based on Facebook’s (in)famous algorithms.

Recently however, I found a way out.

How I did it might surprise you: I started using Instagram.

I joined Instagram on a quest to explore new channels to promote Toastmasters, first to check out what’s on and to experiment with a few posts of my own.

As a default, I was following all my Facebook friends. And like a deja-vu, there were holiday, wedding and gym photos (and some food photos on top). “I don’t really want to see any of this stuff,” I thought. “Why do my friends need to post all this? However: While on Facebook I would hesitate to bluntly unfollow someone (she’s my friend!), I realized here Instagram this was not an issue. I have never followed the people here, why should I start now?

Over the course of 2 weeks, I was continuously unfollowing, until just a handful of friends (whose use of Instagram I found inspiring) remained. I added to my feed my favorites Seth Godin, Ray Dalio and a few others, as well as #tangoargentino for dancing inspiration and #Toastmasters to see how others are promoting the organization.

Suddenly: My Instagram was no longer full of junk. Now it was a curated source of information and inspiration.

Coming back to my friend Jorg – he is right that there is a lot of junk on social media. But allowing the junk to arrive to our screens – that’s all our fault.

The easiest thing to do is to “leave things as they are” (and complain).

The better thing to do might be to take responsibility, act and tailor your feeds to what’s useful for you.

And look, if you want to keep following @Cashcats, it can stay our dirty little secret.

Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash

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