Simplifying My Subscriptions

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

I made a lot of posts earlier this year about simplifying and decluttering because this year I've begun to really focus on streamlining my life to add focus and relieve stress, ultimately. I realised that I never touched on something we all seem to have an abundance of: subscriptions. Where as subscribers, followers, likers, pinners, we attach ourselves to dozens and dozens of social media accounts that can sometimes overwhelm us when, really, our gain should be the main focus.
I think for some reason, there seems to be a guilt surrounding the idea of unfollowing a blog or social media account. As though we're being disloyal or a 'hater' for deciding not to invite their content into our feeds anymore. While I understand that mentality, I decided to let that go really fast when I saw it was degrading my experiences with sites and content creators that I really enjoyed. I think it's more re-evaluating the social media relationship as content creators who want to make things their subscribers like and subscribers who want to follow content creators they enjoy. There is no sense of obligation in this kind of relationship so there's no reason to feel guilty when unfollowing.

It ultimately comes down to the fact that people change and our interests tend to shift over time. While I used to love following young British vloggers on Youtube, now I really prefer in-depth product reviews or project panners. And that is okay! Humans are ever-changing, flexible creatures and the more you deny that you don't get as much pleasure out of some online content as you used to, that's when problems start to arise.

At one point, I discovered that I was follow over 200 people on Youtube, Bloglovin', Twitter, and Facebook. I was being inundated with content and, more often than not, it was content I was no longer interested in. I become overwhelmed by all of this media and content being created and funnelled into my inboxes and feeds where I simply couldn't keep up. When I began to turn away from these sites that I loved because I didn't want to deal with the rising numbers of unread or unwatched content, I knew I had to do something.

After trying to get over the guilt and disloyalty I felt about unfollowing, I began to see my social media feeds much more advantageously. As a content creator myself, I started seeking out other creatives who were doing what I was doing or doing what I wanted to be doing. By seeking out people who were similar to me, I felt like I was building a safe and comfortable community for myself. By seeking out content creators I was interested in or inspired by, I was pushing myself to make better content for my own followers.

Now, every couple of weeks I do a cull. This many sound heartless but it's important for me to serious and engaged with the content I'm consuming, and sometimes that means cutting creatives who don't challenge or interest me anymore. It's important to note that this is no one's fault. Because they, as content creators, and me, as a subscriber, are always changing, it can only be expected for us to sometimes veer in different directions. It does neither of us any good to hang on to a relationship that isn't there.

I'm sure this all sounds a bit ridiculous because who really cares this much about subscribers and online content? I guess I can explain it by saying that this year has in many ways been an important reminder for me to re-evaluate where I invest my time, thoughts, and energy. Considering how much time I spend online (as we all probably do), that included evaluating what online content I was consuming and investing myself into. Perhaps this might appear as a reminder to you that you are ultimately responsible for shaping the online world that you inhabit and making it the best possible space for you.

Those are my thoughts, what are yours?

xx Julia

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