No, I don’t have a problem with you or dislike you
But I’m unfollowing you because I recently got into the Instagram Minimalism Game
So what’s this Game about ?
1.Pick an arbitrary number in your head – a number of Instagram accounts that you want to follow
2.Start unfollowing Instagram accounts until you reach that desired number.
3.You can add back the IG accounts as and when you need or want to. No judgement. You do you.
Well, whats the purpose of the game ?
I have been looking for ways to live more intentionally ever since I stumbled on the Minimalists writing 2 years ago. Around December 2017 when I went to their Instagram account to search for a particular post I liked so I could forward their post to a friend.
I found out that all of their Instagram post was gone . Gone I mean wiped clean, zilch, zero
What the Heck ?
I thought someone had hacked their account and deleted everything they had posted except there was one solitary post left in that Instagram and it was a black and white video recording of them looking at the camera
Then I went on their twitter account – also the same thing had occurred.
Then I realized they played the ultimate Social Media Minimalism Game . They had deleted every single post on Instagram and Twitter to start fresh for 2018.
Now for a brand that preaches minimalism and intentional living to the masses – I thought this was the perfect marketing plan. Do something that no brand would dare to do. Delete all their post on social media online and their followers that regularly follow their content would start talking about it.
On second thought, I realized that this is part of a practice of what it means to live an intentional life where you do not link your sense of selfworth and esteem to any object including social media. That your social currency is not tied down to the number of followers that you have or the number of posts you have on social media.
If you are not familiar with the minimalists, they started their minimalism journey by clearing out physical objects that no longer served them before progressing to clearing out emotional and mental clutter.
I suppose social media clutter was next on their list. Come early Jan 2018, The minimalists had returned to social media , stating that the reason why they deleted all their social media posts was to be intentional when it came to distributing their content online.
They wanted to limit the amount of social media posts per day so that whenever they did post something that post would be truly meaningful to their audience.
Now to those immersed in building an online presence this sounds counter intuitive, most influencers strategy is to post multiple times a day , simply because they want to get their content in front of the eyes of users. Social media platform algorithm constantly changes hence influencers have no idea how and when their posts will appear to their intended audience. So they try to beat the system by pumping content out fast and furious style.
What the minimalist had done was the opposite – figure how to bring more value in every single post so that their audience would want to seek them out.
So they deleted every single social media post before Jan 2018. Now that isn’t an easy step. Deleting every single post that you had ever post. There is no simple function on the social media platform to do a mass delete .
And not many other influencers would do what they would have done, in fact the very thought of deleting all their posts online would probably send influencers into a cardiac arrest or start hyperventilating .
So what did I learn after starting this minimalism game?
I began to realise out of all the accounts I followed, I only actively consumed 20% of the accounts I followed and interacted with the influencers.
I felt a bit of fear before embarking on unfollowing social media accounts, will the friends I unfollow feel that I didn’t like them anymore ? But I realized these thoughts are nothing but manifestations of my own insecurities. We yearn to be liked and accepted by others. We somehow have tied a part of our self worth and social currency to the amount of likes and followers we have.
I realized I was using Instagram heavily for escapism that it became a drug that was diverting me from taking the time to execute on what I wanted to do. I was beginning to live vicariously through the way other people lived their life instead of creating my own reality.
A promise of a 5 minute quick scroll through Instagram or the Explore feed turns into 1 hour long when I stumble on a post about something else that leads down the rabbit hole of trying to find out what happen in pop culture, celebrity gossip or someone’s travel trips.
I also realized that when we follow someone online sometimes we end up consuming a great deal of their thoughts , experiences and emotions and that ends up bleeding into our life.
You are the sum of the Instagram accounts you follow. Taking on this exercise means relooking at whose content are you absorbing, why you follow them and how is their content influencing the way you think and act.
If you like to learn more about the Minimalists work , check out their book