It’s almost too easy to get lost on the Internet and social media. There’s so much to see and so many links to click that you can quickly be sucked into a vortex and before you know it, half the day is gone and you’ve done nothing productive.
There are two keys to avoid getting trapped on social media: (1) don’t follow so many people, and (2) don’t follow people who post an obnoxious amount of material.
On WordPress, I follow 35 blogs. I’ve found that it’s a manageable number so that I don’t get overwhelmed trying to read everybody’s posts. If a particular blog hasn’t been posted to in more than a year, I unfollow it and choose another blog. If I follow someone who ends up posting more than once per day, nine times out of ten, I unfollow that person because the volume of posts becomes too much to deal with.
On Tumblr, it’s the same. I follow about 30 or so blogs, and I check Tumblr once a day. If I followed more people, I’d find myself checking more than once a day just to keep track of it all. Because Tumblr is more of an image-based site, and any text posts tend to be very short, an “obnoxious number of posts” is more subjective. There are people who post only once a month or so, but when they do, they make hundreds of posts at a time. That’s too much for my overloaded brain to deal with. 🙂 Then you have people who post about once a day, and while that’s a lot for a site like WordPress, it’s a little for a site like Tumblr, where one small post can get lost in someone’s feed.
I used to have Twitter, and I don’t think I followed more than 50 or so people at once. Because the posts were short, the number was easy to deal with. Back when I had Facebook, I followed roughly 65 people. Most of them did not post often, and when they did, the posts were very short, so it was still manageable.
Avoiding the Internet vortex is a matter of carefully choosing who you follow, how much time you have, and how much you can process or scroll through. Sometimes you’re hesitant to unfollow someone because it’s “not nice,” but in the end, it’s your time.