Reasons to Declutter Your Instagram Following

Friday, August 4, 2017

Everyone's decluttering something.

In articles and videos that discuss Productivity, Better Living, and Improved Mental Health, many bloggers and YouTubers mention "decluttering". The ~modern era~ has given us a whole world of clutter, and we've filled our lives (and homes) with it. But as many suggest decluttering your wardrobe, bedrooms, and apartments (which I'm all for), today we discuss decluttering something that we may come into most contact with; our social media.

"Social media decluttering" is a term I use that means narrowing down your social media scope to things that are only very important to you. A while ago, I deleted my Snapchat app, simply because it wasn't significantly useful. Even though I'll have to reinstall it in the near future (because it's the best app to use for staying in touch with my friends), the truth is all the app gives me is major FOMO. Instagram, however, is the one I use most; I enjoy seeing curated feeds, aesthetically pleasing photographs, fascinating captions, just consuming what others have created.

But in the same way one would watch what they eat for the sake of their health, I think that one must also watch what kind of media they consume for the sake of their sanity.

Uninspiring celebrities
// This sounds harsh, but let me clarify: If I had one (like, one) good reason to follow Kim Kardashian, I probably would've done it a long time ago. There's a reason I don't follow up on Kylie Jenner's "beauty empire" or Justin Bieber's shirtless studio sessions; I just don't see it as relevant content. A lot of people seem to have a love-hate relationship with the Kardashians, yet millions have chosen to keep up with them religiously on social media.

Using social media for entertainment is great, and I won't advocate unfollowing everyone from the family of Ks and start following NGOs and ~charity foundations~ instead, but think about it: How many people are worth of our follow just because of their looks? In the big names that you're following, are their activities that interesting/significant for your lives? If you "don't know why you're still following them", that's a good enough reason to stop doing so.

People you have no close relations to/people you barely see or talk to anymore 
// Of course, we always have a good enough reason to want to stay in touch, and that's a great thing that social media has given us the ability to do! However, it can be totally unnecessary if you're simply following everyone you come into contact with and then still continue to follow them for years after. It's a good idea to not choose to follow them if, 1) You've never seen/spoken to them again, real life or online, 2) You've never been properly introduced, 3) You only know them by a first-name basis and have never had any engaging conversations together, and/or 4) You share very few to no mutual friends. There's simply no need to keep up with the lives of people you barely know.

Fan accounts 
// Because I've used Instagram since the age of 13, it's taken me through countless phases of "fandoms". In the Tumblr era, I was that typical teenage girl who adored Selena Gomez, and then Taylor Swift, and then other artists, then TV shows, movies, and I'd look up all the fan accounts and join all the fandoms, double tap on the fan art, laugh at all their memes, and so on. Looking on those now, I'm getting too old for it. It's fun to enjoy "fan content" every once in a while, but lately I've been tracking down and unfollowing them one by one. Most are inactive, so they won't really disturb my timeline, but it did add a number to my followings list that I simply don't need.

Pages featuring hobbies/interests you're no longer into 
// There can only be so many watercolor-calligraphy accounts to follow, right? For many of us, our "interests" vary throughout our lives. In senior year of high school, you were interested in A, and before college you tried getting into B, and during college you discovered C and then enjoyed it. However, this results in many fields/interests that get left behind and would no longer appeal to us. Some things stick with us for longer, but you shouldn't feel bad just because you fill your days with different things now.

When I had a thing for calligraphy, I followed all the hand-lettering accounts I could find. Now, even though I still like it and play around with it from time to time, I obviously don't need a daily dose of content from 30 different accounts posting in that same category. Another example: Because I stopped pursuing fashion, I pushed myself to unfollow countless high-fashion brands, magazines, and designers. I just didn't have any business keeping up with most of them anymore, so aimed on finding some really good and consistent ones and stick to only a few of those. Keep your timeline updated, interesting, and relevant for your own life right now.

Pages that are toxic for your self-esteem 
// Before proceeding, I'll start by saying that if your self-esteem is threatened by use of social media, there are two things you need to learn to do: 1) Self-evaluating, working through your insecurities, and trying to acknowledge your self worth and gain that confidence (improving your self-esteem from within) and 2) Getting rid of the parts on social media that don't help you in the process.

These parts refer to content that doesn't inspire you. A while ago, I'd decided to unfollow Victoria's Secret because a) I don't even wear their brand, b) I'm finding the "supermodel" buzz to be increasingly cliche, and c) I know their Photoshop work can be a bit much. Subconsciously, we go through Instagram day by day while frequently thinking to ourselves, "I wish I had that life" or "I wish I looked like that instead." When we filter/replace our content, we give more space for our minds to start thinking differently.

So you don't have to eradicate all the enchanting parts of Instagram coming from many people with their ~glamorous lives~, but instead, try filtering them out and really understanding how their content makes you feel about yourself. Replace it with content that you'll find more relatable. Instead of following too many high-end-life luxury fashion bloggers, I narrow my search to smaller bloggers who lead more normal lives, or bloggers with whom I share mutual thoughts or interests. We should do our best to not give social media that much power over how we view ourselves and our own lives.

Do feel free to follow me, though *wink* | @joanneamarisa
How to spot other accounts: If you think that your list is still too long, even after filtering out the ones I mentioned above, what I tried doing was going to my followings list and searching for them manually. Because of the new algorithm, sometimes they'll show you the most active and relevant accounts first on the list, so what I do instead is I click on the Following's search bar >> Type in any letter, or any pair of letters >> Start screening the list from there, and repeat on other letters when you're done!

I mean if you come across some accounts everyday that don't do anything for you, then why still keep them on your following list? Don't we at least owe it to ourselves to be more discreet and mindful in filtering the content we allow to make its way into our Instagram-leisure-time?

So far, I've made a vow to keep my Instagram following below 1,000 people (because who needs to keep up with a thousand different people?), and after decluttering that list recently, I've cut it down to about 960. I still have a lot more to cross off that very long list.

Has this article helped you? How do you prefer to use Instagram?
Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

See you around.


  1. This is a great post. I never really thought about how much irrelevant content is in my feed! This is my weekend project! <3

    -Madison from

  2. I think, like all eras, the social media era will fade. Our society is due for a culture declutter movement. In due time, I guess... great post!

    L.E.N.A | Revealed

  3. I also did some decluttering at the beginning of the year! Definitely something to do time to time


  4. I loved this post. I've been needing to clean out my following list and this post came at the perfect time.


  5. Great post! Thank you so much for sharing your tips :)

  6. you've got a point. a very important one too. everyone talks about decluttering like it's a trend and it kind of bores me tbh because it's like this thing every 'lifestyle' blogger or influencer does, just for the sake of joining the bandwagon but never did i see anyone talk about the importance of social media decluttering or in my case, i'd rather call that a social media detox. i personally never installed snapchat because i know i'd never used it. the app itself takes up a lot of space and my phone's RAM that i never bother. fortunately, i was never one who is into taking selfies and publishing them to social media or do any of those snapchat people enjoy doing. i enjoy instagram and mainly follow people whose posts will benefit my feed and eyes. and by that i'm referring to creative content, creators and some people / friends whose account contains more than just "duck lips" selfies and random quotes that are totally unrelated. sounds harsh but true. i'm just kind of sick of those :P

    i love to do social media declutter even before lifestyle blogs and bloggers make it seem like a trendy thing to do, if that makes sense. from instagram to twitter (not facebook because my fb only has like 10 friends since it's really private and most of the stuff i follow there are for memes and stupid jokes), i enjoy minimizing my list of 'following' and then hunt for those who are actually worth my time.

    love this post btw!

    p.s: well hello there fellow INTJ. no wonder this article radiates some INTJ vibes ;)

    1. Elise! Thank you for such a thoughtful comment and I loved hearing what you had to say about it :) And YES HI INTJ! I don't think I've ever met one! Hahaha x

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