How to KonMari your Social Media

Does this sound familiar? Your phone buzzes so much, it’s practically a bee, and you’re concerned it's about to take flight. Your notification bar is constantly full, and what’s worse is that this particular bar doesn't even provide alcohol. You’ve got about six unread messages at all times-- did you respond to that one already? Who knows! Certainly not you. 

The sometimes overwhelming pressure of keeping up with social media can leave you reeling. There’s so much, constantly. The time and effort you put into your social media can be draining to your mental health, your time, and your life. Try ‘tidying up’ your social media with the KonMari method-- here I’ve compiled a list to help you get started.

Keep in mind, we’re tidying our online presence, not our dorm room. Reorient your KonMari method into a social media mindset. We’re tidying our time, our cluttered apps, rather than a physical space.

So let's brush up on what the KonMari method is and how to implement your new social media presence to bring you the most joy.

  1. 1. Commit yourself to Tidying Up.

    And I mean really, COMMIT. Set up a goal of a few weeks to really test out your new social media style. It will be hardest at the beginning, and your anxiety and FOMO mindset will not change overnight. It takes time to tweak your social media presence to what best fits your goal-- make sure you give yourself that time.

  2. 2. Imagine your Ideal Lifestyle.

     Your ideal social media lifestyle will be unique to you. Maybe you want to spend less time online, or maybe you want your online presence to reflect your best you. Whatever it is, imagine it at its fullest. Don’t let yourself think ‘but that’s impossible!’ or, ‘it’s too hard!’ Just get your ideal in your imagination. That’s your goal.

  3. 3. Finish Discarding First.

    Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose. If you decide to delete an app or account entirely, think back on the good times you had with it. Maybe download any pictures that might be specific to that platform. Maybe write a heartfelt goodbye post on your wall or story. If you choose not to delete any apps (which is also fine! Remember, KonMari is all about bringing you joy! If deleting your apps would not bring you joy, don’t do it), then take a look back through your feed. Remember all the memes and vids, take time to reflect on the joy it has brought you.

  4. 4. Tidy by Category, Not Location.

    You probably have at least three apps that are mainly picture based. You likely have two or so communication-based apps. Additionally, you probably have a dusty, rarely used blog somewhere that you forget to post on. Whatever the case, organize and tidy your social media by category. This is to help avoid being overwhelmed. It’s much more doable to tackle your three picture-based apps, then all of your socials at once. Organizing your social media is less about where the apps are on your homescreen, and more what they do/function as.

  5. 5. Follow the Right Order.

    This will vary depending on you. If you know in your heart that you need to delete a specific app NOW for the sake of your mental health, do it. No need for explanation (though of course you can if you would like), no fuss. Just get rid of it. On the other hand, if a particular platform really brings you joy, maybe that’s what you want to focus on first. 

  6. 6. Ask Yourself if it Sparks Joy.

    FOMO is a real thing, and anxiety can rear its ugly head faster than you can say ‘six unread messages.’ Really reflect and inspect your feelings on a specific app. Are you on there because you created an account in 7th grade when it was cool, and now you never use it? Do you use an app because it’s mindless distraction, to try and redirect your depression? (Oof, that’s my biggest issue. I’m in this picture and I don’t like it!) Are you using an app because it’s fun and useful, or are you on it because everyone else is? This sort of introspection can be tough. Practice some self-care while doing this, and remind yourself that you’re working on making it better. Recognition is the first step to recovery. 

  7. 7. Think Quality over Quantity.

    The sheer amount of information we absorb through our social media is amazing. Bits and bytes of this person’s tweet, that person’s story-- there’s a lot. And how much do you really remember? Chances are that you only recall the really spectacular posts, the poignant pictures. Think how you could improve the quality of your online interactions without upping the quantity. This could be that you post longer, but fewer updates on your social media. Or maybe you want to really make your Insta photos spectacular-- ideally, how would that look like for you? Once a week, to really make it perfect? Once a day, but with the best lighting possible? Quality over quantity.

  8. 8. Manage Your Time.

    Social media is a time drain. It’s easy to get lost in the Insta explore page, or the stories on Snapchat. What’s your ideal amount of time spent on your phone each day? Take that and use it as your goal. Then each day, whittle down by ten minutes the time you spend on your social media apps. A good way to check this is right in your phone-- go to your ‘digital wellbeing’ in settings, and you can see exactly how much time you spend in each app, and how often you unlock your phone. This data is critical for realizing and readjusting the time spent on your apps. You can even specify a shut-off for apps. This takes all the self-discipline out of managing your app time-- you’ll just time out!

  9. 9. Simplify your Communication.

    Simplify your social media! Are you Snapping constantly? Do the Facebook Messenger notifications never end? Are people sliding into your DM’s on Insta so much it’s practically a playground? Think about it-- nearly every social platform has a way to communicate. It can be exhausting to forget what you were talking about on Snapchat, recall which app you were having a conversation on, remembering which friend uses which app to contact them. But get this-- there’s already a communication app built right into your phone. Regular text messaging simplifies your hectic conversations into easily viewed convos and groups. Texting is extremely versatile-- adding a photo of yourself is as easy as tapping the ‘take photo’ button next to your keyboard. GIF keyboards, stickers, and emojis all add personality to your texts. Everyone with a phone has texting capability-- you will never have to wonder which app to use to create a group chat, because one person doesn’t have an account-- it’s an easy, breezy, Covergi-- I mean, conversation. 

  10. 10. Plan a Graceful Exit.

    You don’t have to do this, but it may help alleviate some anxiety if you’re worried that your followers and friends will think you died or something. It can be as simple as a quick textpost on Tumblr or an ‘adios’ on Insta. Writing a small blurb about why your activity online will decline can help people better understand where you’re coming from. Be honest and open. The reactions you garner may surprise you! I’ve found that as I’ve cut back on social media, I’ve gotten an outpouring of admiration and well-wishes. 

  11. 11. Redirect your Energy.

    Social media is such an integral part of how we spend our time, view the world, and get our entertainment, that it can seem like you’ve got empty time once you cut back on social media. For me, that was scary-- it was those times that had my anxiety and depression on high alert. To combat this, fill your new time with things you enjoy and tasks to be completed. It will be difficult at first, but worth it. Keep your ideal goal in mind, and remember that it takes small steps to go a long way.

  12. 12. Get Support.

    KonMari-ing your social media is tough. There’s a lot of emotions tied up in how we present ourselves online, and a lot of withdrawal symptoms once you cut back on your social media. Enlist those closest to you to be a support network.  The reaction will be more positive than you think. I understand the fears that you’ll be missing out, or fall out of contact with people. However, my experience has been that people are extremely supportive of you taking charge of your mental health and online headspace.

Social media can be a lot of fun-- and a lot of time and energy. Using the KonMari method to simplify and organize your social media and online presence can really help your mental health. I hope these tips will help you in your quest for improved digital health!