With every tap, by every click your meat stick does, your brain consumes new information nowadays.
But probably only a few mindfully realize, what they put into their heads. That’s why it’s important to do housekeeping every once in a while. Thanks to the Internet and digital social media, we can do that. We have the optionality of information sources around us. We can digitally consume what’s mostly interests us, what we like, what we want to learn more about, just from our pocket. It’s doesn’t need to be just around news media outlets, but during creators economy, a lot of people create unique content (newsletters, articles) by themselves. What they heard, how they value add to the information, reframing, rethinking and rebroadcasting that information through their brain synapses to help others learn about a particular topic.
Back in time, it was quite hard to ignore your neighbour, because you did not like their style or did not have a particular topic to talk about, you were somehow obligated to interact with them because you met them in the hallway. The same goes with the environment around you. In the physical world, it’s quite hard to change your circles as they are tied to you because of your physical location, past school circles, local hobby groups you’ve visited, friends from various local interests you are not pleased with anymore. Name it in your head. That’s also how is peer pressure created on actions you do on daily basis and what you sub-concisely do, who you mimic. Results are most probably actions you are taking in your life and how you spend your daily time. Hard to resist.
Perpetual change of mind and own reality
Our mind is constantly changing and probably we are not persons who we’re yesterday, so it’s okay to unfollow your favourite celebrity, hero, role model, friends where we don’t share interests, we are not living next to each other, anything else doesn’t interest you anymore or you don’t feel identified with. The issue is that every second that text, multi-medias and interactions capture your brain with probably higher noise than signal and you don’t benefit anyhow from that. Do you recall how many pictures you have seen and did not interest you? You can change it to see pictures that interest and engage you more. Simple as that.
Way people induce altering their consciousness except drugs is usual like
- Spiritual experience
- Gaining Insights
- Emotional development
- Mental development
- Traumatic experience
- Oxygen deficiency
- Sleep deprivation
6k+ information incomes and counting
The Foundation of this article would be more focused on a Twitter sphere. You can replicate this on Reddit, Medium, Spotify, Telegram, Discord, Strava, Goodreads, Newsletters, Instagram &c… name your favourite feed where you spend a lot of your daily attention.
My problem here was that I accidentally followed every potential thing I’d love to learn about, ending up above 6k following people. Naming — ideologies, movements, emerging projects, potential investments, brands, things, somehow interesting people, alpha leakers. That’s probably unbearable to catch up on everything if one spends on average 1–2 hours on Twitter. So there was an idea that it’s time to redefine what I want to learn about and what I want to consume tomorrow, next week, next month, the whole year.
Turns out, it has paid off.
In the way I behave, I think, I grow and I feel.
Enter my methodology
This would start as a simpleton approach and basic and then we can grow in a more mature and complex strategy that how to practice unfollows and stop consuming un-interesting things. Long-run, we can cultivate meaningful relationships with 100–250 people, commonly known as value 150 people.
The question is, how do you squeeze the best value per person/project? Let’s ask yourself these questions where I’ve tried to fit it on recognized social networks nowadays.
Is it worth following person insights when you have no use it for? Following people where your read & review books preferences don’t match? Growing knowledge on projects you would probably not invest in or you do not believe? Hanging out at the server where do you don’t feel you are accruing value? Reading posts from topics you don’t like? Listening to podcasts you did not take away any new thoughts and insights? Read the text you did not like? Received newsletter you did not read for months?
I’ll tell you that’s it’s so easy to go and keep only those, that are making value add for yourself. Here are not-so-famous buttons to dis-engage social networks trying to hide. A social network as whole benefits from the more inter-connected audience.
Weights to hit unfollow
Probably something where everyone needs to figure out on their own terms. I’ve gone with Twitter lists as a “safety” net for my past interests and friends where we had something in common or worked on a common project.
I went pretty fairly criteria. I’ve created lists based on some interests. General one where I felt had some great vibe check-in past (person, friend or brand), a thing I’m passionate about — NFTs, a programming language I’m learning — Rust, synthetic biology — where I invest, extended reality — where I work, Internet world calculator — Ethereum, things around GIS — because I like EO & satellites.
When you look at particular content — does it yield anything inside you? If yes — keep it. Did not? — unfollow or add it to your interests list for “later” when you change your mind. Simple as this. If you want to better refine your brain diet housekeeping, you may add another check like
- does this brand/person follows me? — if yes, think about how you can engage and revisit your meaningful connection
- did we message in past a lot? — if so, might be worth keeping it, if you still share the same vision or interest in something common
- its high count person? — probably drop it a lot of high positioned social media accounts turns to be more noise and hijacks their own position count for promoting or shilling stuff you may don’t like. Early rock-stars in emerging projects are somewhere between ~ 300–3k depends on the industry.
- does a person's content become infotainment? — if the value of content doesn’t add any better, probably worth dis-engage
- did they repeatedly mention you out of your context? — try to investigate why they do so or unfollow.
What you should follow?
That’s probably a great question where everyone should answer themselves. Everyone is different and individual. Your decisions and mind are constantly changing. Act accordingly. Some sources act as an illusion from first sight.
Bet on your values, beliefs, things you are pursuing, things you love, passions you want to grow over time. It could be your new job role, digital gardening, emerging markets, new scientific research (on longevity), new development (on earth observation), breakthrough insight (in nanotech), friends achievements, &c, you will pick it up.
Is there an end goal (number)?
Probably depends on one-self, but I honestly think, no. I’ve managed to cut it from 6k to 4k, so I have a long way to go, my ideal target is between 1k-2k, maybe lower if I would gain more freedom in life because I think it’s hard to keep up with all the flow until you build a friendly circle of trust or unless you find a way how to replicate your daily productive hours in one day and absorb all new relevant information.
Remember, to rebalance your attention scope often
I’m not endorsing Jack, but showing a meaningful balance of your attention. Jack is doing some valuable content to that his audience size of 120k, but he really values his own quality feed by following only 441 on Twitter. The best situation when you can actually start rebalancing your attention, do is whenever you are sleep deprived or whenever you have lower levels of serotonin. Most probably you won’t feel connected to the followed account for example. It would be easier to hit unfollow.
Monetizing your attention
Long term, we are living in an era, where your attention is in control of algorithmic recommendation and discovery. Probably discovery of meaningful new feeds is really scarce for one-self and for the particular networks as well. They want to keep you as a good citizen and user of their services so they eventually should take care. Similar like Gmail introduced noticing that you haven’t opened a particular newsletter for a while, I guess other services will come with something to care about users’ feeds if users lack the willpower to do so.
Mind what you digital consume, it influences your (daily & future) actions, where, how and on what you spend your time. Because probably after attention, your time is a most scarce resource, if we count on average 70 years lifespan, retail, digital services, products, customers &c fights for your time. Spend it wisely.