Want to Do a 'Marie Kondo' on Your Messy Social Media Accounts? Here's How.
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On January 1, Netflix released its new series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, which is based on Kondo's best-selling book and dedicated to cleansing homes (and bodies) of their holiday bloat. The real-life families in this show aren’t hoarders -- not yet, anyway. But they do have mountains and mountains of clothes (and Christmas decorations and papers and so on) that Kondo believes are weighing down their ability to lead a joyful life.
Her KonMari method is meant to get you to look at the excess of your life and find room only for the items which, in Kondo's words, "spark joy." When you find the items that don’t do that -- and you will -- the method wants you to thank (yes, thank) the item, then gently put it in the trash. The show's release was timed for exactly twhen people typically start feeling that "New Year, New Me" vibe, making it an instant hit both on the internet and in actual homes.
Image Credit: Google Trends report, showing the uptick in Marie Kondo-related internet traffic since her show's release Jan. 1
In fact, Tidying Up became a hit. According to the Washington Post, the nation's capital's consignment and Goodwill stores saw major upticks in their donations in the first week after the show premiered. And online memes and photos of newly organized closets proliferated. Suddenly, this 34-year-old Japanese consultant had become a big name, as well as, predictably, the target of jokes, including the following tweet:
how to tidy up your friendships with the Marie Kondo method:— Tze Hern (@zhrent) January 7, 2019
1. hold your friend up
2. check if your friend sparks joy
3. if no, thank your friend and put them in the trash
All well and good. But, in the show, Kondo misses one area that causes a lot of stress: device bloat. And isn’t device bloat an area that many of us truly feel is out of control? So, a suggestion: Let’s take the KonMari method to your phone and get this new year really started. Here's how:
Tidy up your phone apps (then put them in the trash).
If you’re like me, there are applications on your phone -- from past times or phases in your life -- that you haven’t opened for a while. Three years ago, I downloaded a yoga app that I use every January for about three weeks because ... well, the reason is obvious. Instead of letting that app take up precious memory on my phone all year round, I could more effectively search for free YouTube yoga videos during those same three weeks when I tend to actually remember that yoga exists.
Look at each app on your phone individually and decide whether or not that app is useful for you to have, because you use its screen-time insights. (With an iPhone, go to Settings > Screen Time)
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Next, see which of your apps get the most screen time and are worth keeping. While you’re at it, add in controls for time spent and lock yourself out of apps after a certain amount of time elapses. Once you take a full inventory and decide whether to "delete" or "save," move on to the next step in your tidying journey!
Build out app categories.
Not only will applying the KonMari method keep the clutter on your home screen down to a minimum, it will also make it easier to remember exactly where all of your apps are stored, and make them easier to navigate.
Clean out your inbox.
Are you someone who hates those red number notifications on your apps? If so, your next priority should be to clean up those notifications -- starting with your email inbox. Decide whether those emails are unread because they are no longer applicable to you or whether they are something you need to reference later on.
That will help you to: unsubscribe from any spam/irrelevant content; filter out messages to folders that you may need to reference later on; or bucket that curated email into the appropriate folder. If you can get to a place where the only emails in your inbox are items that you are actively working on, you will immediately start saving time and energy!
Turn off notifications.
Turn off notifications for apps that you don’t need a daily update on. This can help reduce your screen time by giving updates only on high-priority items.
Delete old photos + text messages + podcast subscriptions + songs.
Marie Kondo recommends tidying by location, so look at each of these areas individually. Each of these buckets uses more memory on your phone than you think it does, so it behooves you to pare down where you can. Delete anything that you haven’t listened to or looked at for the past three months.
Only follow accounts that spark joy.
Now it’s time to get into your social media accounts. There are several ways to mute or unfollow the people and accounts on your various platforms that cause you the most stress. Use the "Unfollow" feature on Facebook to finally stop following those people you know only by name from 10 years ago. Instagram also offers a feature to “Mute” either newsfeed or story posts. You won’t offend people by unfollowing them, but you also won't have to see everything they post in your newsfeed. That will spark joy!
Finally: Update your grid.
Your social media is an extension of your personal brand -- how do you want to be viewed? Go through and ensure you are representing your truest self. This doesn’t mean showcasing just the most glamorous parts of your life. But you should still use these platforms as a place to represent who you are and what it is that brings you the most joy.