Several weeks ago, I found myself once again mindlessly scrolling the Facebook Newsfeed with my thumb, glancing blankly at each passing post. I had opened the app for a specific reason but somehow got distracted, forgetting what I was there for. I’m sure you’ve heard of this habitual phenomenon before; it happens often.
I got frustrated by it, snapped out of my mindless scrolling, and decided to try and put an end to it once and for all – without deleting or deactivating my Facebook account.
So what did I do? I did what many people, myself included, have done before. I simply tailored my newsfeed by unfollowing (in other words, decluttering) people. But there was one big difference this time. I pushed it to the limits!
I decided to try and see what would happen if I unfollowed everybody – including my own wife! I wondered, would the algorithm show me anything? Would there still be ads?
I figured I’d give it a shot and then slowly re-follow some people one at a time. Basically, I would start my newsfeed over with a fresh clean slate and then build it back to a cleaner and leaner…source of distraction – I mean information, right?
Unfollowing everybody worked! It’s been over a month now and my newsfeed distraction problem is solved.
Much of the time, my newsfeed is literally blank! Sometimes, I will see only the last few of my own posts. And once in a while there is an ad. The only other posts I will see are the occasional ones Facebook promotes like Memories. There are usually 4 posts or less, so there’s nothing to scroll through on auto-pilot.
I figured I would re-follow some people, but because my newsfeed is so clutter free and since I have really enjoyed being released from the mindless scrolling distraction, I decided to not add anyone back to follow!
So if you’re tired of being distracted and want to escape some of the digital clutter of your social media, give it a try; unfollow everyone!
Here’s a few other points to consider: You will still be friends. You can still just look up your friends on their Timeline to see how they’re doing. You can still message them. You will still get notifications from friends if you want to. And no one will know that you unfollowed them; Facebook doesn’t notify others of unfollows.
After you unfollow everyone and see what it’s like, you can decide whether to add anyone back to follow and slowly rebuild your simplified newsfeed. Or you can just keep it as minimal as possible – keep everyone unfollowed.