Sanitizing the Social Message Bus
Less is More
It seems to be a good idea to think of social media feeds and communication channels as a message bus that connects directly to your brain and for people to peer into your life. What are you consuming? What are you broadcasting?
In enterprise software architecture:
A message bus is a combination of a common data model, a common command set, and a messaging infrastructure to allow different systems to communicate through a shared set of interfaces. This is analogous to a communications bus in a computer system, which serves as the focal point for communication between the CPU, main memory, and peripherals.
Clubhouse seems to be the modern day remote conference that is running 24/7. It’s great for connecting with new people, but also creates a funnel of traffic to you as people discover you. Twitter or Instagram are the new business cards. LinkedIn is the new resume/CV. And Facebook… I’m not sure what Facebook is anymore.
If, like me, you originally started using Facebook and Instagram for friends and family, and not as a marketing tool, it seems weird to have total strangers following and connecting. Here are some steps I took:
Downloaded my Twitter, and deleted old tweets using TweetDelete. Treating it as my “public announcements” and “mild snark” channel… Cautiously.
Made my Instagram private, disconnected it from my Clubhouse, and removed followers that I don’t know. I also unfollowed people that have inactive accounts.
Attempted to use FriendFilter to remove inactive friends and stranger danger from my Facebook friends list. Turns out almost all of the inactive friends were people I met in some capacity or another, so I manually purged 2,660 friends to 2,625…
Updated my LinkedIn profile and website to reflect my current projects and priorities.
Deleted contacts that are from a past life or that I am unsure who they are. For iPhone, logging into iCloud Contacts seems to be the best way to do this. I did export the list as a backup, “just in case.”
The fact is that most apps and networks use contact lists to build a social graph on all of us is offensively invasive, and there are people I definitely don’t want to contact me from my past. Also, I removed all ad tracking settings on those platforms and access to my contact list on all messengers applications.
A minimalist ethos doesn’t just apply to the material world, but also the digital world. “Friends” on social media seem like they could be the equivalent of that junk in your garage that you forgot was in there and be a psychic drain on your spirit.
Marie Kondo’s KonMari philosophy seems to apply here. Does this person spark joy? If not, thank them for the lessons, and let them go.
Next up, email and cloud storage…
In 2021, less is more.