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Muting My Noise – How I Made Social Media Relevant Again

A little while ago, I felt like the old man on his front porch when it came to social media.

I reminisced about the old days, when people were on Twitter to talk to other people. When Facebook friends were actual friends.

I kept telling people/brands to get off my lawn, to stop automating, and filling my feeds with junk.

Then I realized it. I created the noise. I auto-followed back the first 32,000 people that followed me without context or relevance. I accepted every friend request on Facebook to make up for my lack of popularity in high school. I accepted every connection on LinkedIn for the vanity metric of a lot of connections.

Complaining about my social media noise would be like turning up Metallica’s “And Justice For All” album to 11, and then complaining it’s too loud.

I made it. You made it for your accounts.

Social was losing a lot of relevance to me, which is the death blow for any platform. Once people start wondering why they’re logging in, they stop logging in. It happened to me with Foursquare last year, and it was about to happen everywhere else.

So I did something about it. Since I hate automation and scheduling on Twitter, that’s my personal choice, not what is “right” on social. So I found a Twitter app, Tweetbot (iPhone), which lets me mute certain Twitter clients. I picked the ones that were mainly used for scheduling and automating/synching tweets. It doesn’t mean they’re bad, just not what I want in my Twitter feed. Here they are:

filter1 Filter2 filter3

Yes, some of these can be real live tweets, so I will never see them, I’m willing to lose the small fraction of them to turn down my noise. Combine these with creating a private list, and I’m now reading real-time tweets of people that I actually want to read. Entirely changed Twitter for me, instead of how I’ve been using it for the past year, which is to check my “@ mentions” and then leaving. Which goes against the entire principal of Twitter. If all we do is look for people talking to us, the entire eco-system eventually implodes to a sea of scheduled tweets, and no one talking/listening. It’s been amazing and surprising how little I see from of my social media colleagues now. So many just cross-post everything, makes me a little sad.

Facebook is a little more work, and I’ve gone from 4800 friends to about 1600, one by painful one over the past 18 months. Again, it has become relevant to me and I’m enjoying it much more.

LinkedIn? It’s a lost cause currently. Not only was it nearly impossible to remove a contact, now they send notifications any time anyone publishes something new, without the ability to universally turn notifications off (you can individually).

Social media should never be about numbers. Especially if your stereo is at “11”. Turn it down. You don’t want me yelling at you from my front porch.