How many 'friends' do you have on Facebook? How about followers in your private Instagram account reserved for people that are close to you? If you're averaging four figures for accounts you initially identified as filtered, then consider them cluttered. Are you even sure that you know everyone in your list of contacts? Chances are you don't. In fact, a study featured on Scietific American notes that on Facebook, you "can really only maintain about 150 meaningful relationships at any time."
So what will you do with the remaining thousands?
Of course, we're not saying that you should delete everyone and retain only 150 of your contacts; however, you do have to streamline your friends list, especially if you don't even remember who most of these people are in the first place. A note of caution: do not unfriend or block people during a moment of anger or heightened emotions. Do this purge with a clear head. Remember, in this day and age where important life milestones are only official if they're "social media official," removing someone from your list can be considered as a form of rejection—even if it isn't really that much of a big deal for you.
Who should you 'unfriend'?
Barring exes and their kabit, it's okay to remove people you have no emotional attachment to including those old classmates that you were never really close to from the very beginning, posters you just found randomly funny and befriended at some point, online stores who have personal profiles instead of pages, acquaintances who are super nega or those who spam things that aren't of interest to you, and basically people who you have to strain your brain to remember. Go Marie Kondo on them—thank their presence on your timeline, then let them go.
Why should you do this social media purge?
Streamlining your list can be nice to the eyes, but the intangible benefits oughtweigh how clean your timeline looks all of a sudden.
You get to limit the people who see what you're up to.
Privacy may be an illusion in the age of social media—that doesn't mean that you can't control the information you put out or the number of people in your circle who can see them. Before you even try using filters, cull your friends list to get things started. You'd be surprised at the number of people you don't even know that you've added.
You get less noise.
And you actually get to see people whose lives you're really interested in. Sure, there's the hide button for friends you don't wan't updates from, but nothing's better than a clean cut with those who you're sure don't even remember your existence. Why waste bandwith?
You're less likely to experience the "fear of missing out" or FOMO.
Your highschool batchmates are all partying in a yacht, and while they're not really your BFFs, you may feel a bit left out, but don't worry! It just proves that (1) it's the sort of content that you don't need, and (2) you don't really care much for them and can now delete them (because really, the last time you spoke was circa 1996). Besides, you don't need to compare their paths with your own. Work at your own pace, and don't let social media fool you into thinking you're not doing enough.
You feel lighter.
You just will, and it's probably because what you'll get to see after cleaning your friends list are only the people who give you joy. And before you ask: yup, it's worth it.
FN Tip: If a close friend or a relative is the one being nega or spammy on your timeline and you don't want to totally cut ties with them, that's when the 'hide' button comes in handy; however, if you do wish to cut ties for one reason or another, best inform them first why you're doing so, especially if what he or she continuously posts is affecting you emotionally. If they truly care about you, they should understand.