How I Curate My Social Media To Not Be Boring
A guide to intentionally curating your social media to be less redundant and more informative.
COVID changed my life in many ways, but perhaps the most unexpected was how I consume social media and news. In the before times, I’d follow everything everywhere. “Foo Fighters and The New Yorker are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Follow, follow and follow.” My feeds looked the same on all social apps. This was great before COVID because I had less time to browse social media. I could open one app and be caught up with everything.
But boy did it break fast during COVID! Working from home, I had so much more time to consume social media that my repetitive feeds were quickly exhausted. To add some variation, I played around with my feeds a bit. Unfollowed everything I didn’t care about. Picked a few trusted news sources (WSJ, CNN, The Verge, etc.). Reduced duplication across feeds. After 8 months I figured out what worked for me.
Intentional curation to the rescue
The problem with following everything everywhere is the lack of control over what you consume. Social media is driven by recommendation algorithms that show you what they think you like. If you like a lot of different things, the recommendations are all over the place and it all starts to seem like noise.
To cut through irrelevant recommendations and repetitive feeds, I now intentionally curate my social feels. While doing so, I play to each platform’s strengths. Facebook is great for keeping up with friends and family but terrible for news. So I follow only friends on Facebook, no news. Same for Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, and others. It is the polar opposite of following everything everywhere, and that’s why it works.
The biggest payoff of intentional curation is you get to leverage the strengths of each platform and make it so that each app serves a specific niche. It also gives a chance for recommendation algorithms to shine since they’re only dealing with a few interests.
Putting it into practice
So how can you put it into practice? Your existing feeds are a good starting point. From there, think in buckets. Everything you want to follow goes into buckets — one for friends, one for news, one for public figures or content creators, one for personal interests like music or art genres, and so on. Then decide where you want to follow each bucket. Voila, all done.
Here’s how I’ve set up mine. I follow friends and family on Facebook. Topics like finance, tech, and politics and magazines like WIRED and The New Yorker on Apple News. Cool people in tech and design on Twitter. Generative art and artists on Instagram. Niche interests like mechanical keyboards and video games on Reddit. Individual blogs and publications on Feedly. All my feeds show and recommend interesting content at a much higher rate. And each feed is wholly unique!
Curating my feeds is still a work in progress. I’ve yet to figure out what to do with YouTube. It is hard to put in a box because video is such a versatile information medium. When I figure it out, I’ll update this post. But even so, it is a far cry from how repetitive my feeds used to be and a great exercise in curating what I consume.