A few months ago, I deleted all the social media apps off my phone in an effort to reclaim my time and focus. Since then, I realised the lack of value that they provide me when it comes to building personal learning networks like I used to in the past.
If anything, I realised that I don’t need to be on the socials now to build more new networks. I was struggling to find people who shared and retweeted new and interesting, thought provoking content or their own research or work; some have dissipated into private online communities or have left social media completely. In the end, it was simply too hard for me to keep looking for where the conversations were.
I decided to delete or deactivate all the accounts that were simply a thorn in my side.
First and easiest to go were all of Facebook. In doing so, I’m also closing the door on all my friends and family. I figure if it’s important enough, a member from my direct family will tell me the news. After all, I’m of Greek background. My aunts are the most connected people in the entire world. If I really want to find out what’s going on, one phone call to my aunt and she’ll put me in the picture. Seriously, Facebook has nothing on Greek aunts.
Second to go with Instagram. That was easy. I HATED Instagram. Always had. I never aligned with the idea of perfectly curated posts of beautiful people and places. The only thing I enjoyed using it for was for my creative story line of black and white photos of my days as a Foreign Correspondent playing a luddite called Sharon (Don’t Call Me Shazza) Breaknews for a fake news channel on Snapchat a few years ago called CNT News.
I figured as long as the CNT YouTube channel is up and I have copies of my previous videos and photos, Instagram can DISAPPEAR.
Out it went!
Third was WhatsApp.
I am a member of various WhatsApp Groups so I will need to contact them and advise them that I’ve deleted the account. I figure that if I need to find out information about them, I can simply email or DM someone as opposed to being part of a group to bombard my questions to everyone. I’m creating too much noise for everyone.
Once again, if I need anything, I’ll ask one question to one person to get one answer.
Whoosh. Gone. Deleted.
Evernote Premium and Feedly Pro+ (AI) deleted. The former I wasn’t using as much as I was using WordPress as my note taking and sense making space; the latter seems to just trawl Medium & not the wider web. I’m a better curator so I’ll stick with my own methods. pic.twitter.com/eApB9UcJTS— Helen Blunden #AlwaysBeLearning 🤔🧠🦉📚🥇 (@ActivateLearn) January 18, 2021
Next up was Evernote Premium. I was a Premium member for MANY years and loved it. The reason I deleted this was that I wasn’t using all the functions to the fullest extent as I slowly found myself keeping hand written notes in notepads but most of all, using WordPress to draft notes and use as my sensemaking space for these blog posts. I downgraded to Basic (Free) but pretty much, the THOUSANDS of collected notes I have collected over the years, I would say that anything pre-2014 is now redundant.
I certainly don’t need to keep these notes and links anymore because all my thinking is in blog format or it’s in my YouTube channel as videos. It’s all been captured. Evernote was becoming a glorified link catalogue.
After that was Feedly Pro +. I have been a Feedly Pro user for many years and I love it. For a year, I used the + version and upgraded to have Leo the robot trawl through my feeds and hone the searches even more to only articles that would be relevant to me.
That’s when I realised that it was trawling only Medium articles and I would hit upon limits in Medium (as Im not a paid member of this service) and I didn’t like the idea that it wasn’t trawling other spaces for more different links – I wanted variety of ideas and new insights to come to me but all I was getting was pretty much the same stuff.
Instead, I was finding some wonderful articles and resources from HUMAN curators so I pissed off the AI bot to focus on the human curators.
I downgraded Feedly Pro+ to just Feedly Pro as this is still one of the best ways I curate content and can’t do without it.
Finally, LinkedIn. I really hate this platform but it’s a necessity (?) for professionals. As I still have many people contact me through here, I kept the profile as opposed to hibernating or deleting it (that will come when I retire in some years). Instead, I mass unfollowed everyone so that I have no LinkedIn field at all. It’s empty.
(In August last year, I mass unfollowed over 4000 people to about 40 but now those 40 are unfollowed too). You can read about how I did this in my post Cleaning Up My LinkedIn Feed.
So there it is. In an effort for 2021 to turn my back on how I did things in the past because it was a different world back then, with different thinking and social media was used for more connection and learning; I have decided to do away with it all and focus instead on taking a proactive approach to my personal learning, growth and development by focusing on people, things and communities that nurture and support.
I’ll focus on the ‘old school’ way of sharing ideas through blogs, vlogs, books, newsletters, one-to-one communications, small groups, more local, focussed on my learning and development and not about business building or touting my wares.