There's no better time than the new year to start afresh, and today, we ask you to turn your attention not within but without. More specifically, it's your Twitter and Facebook friends we need to talk about. That's right—it's time to trim the fat.
You've been racking up social media accounts for years now, and you've inevitably acquired more than a few duds among your more golden fans and followers. You see their photos, read their updates, and maybe even engage them in a debate if you're feeling extra masochistic that day. But more often than not, they only cause you pain, and you'll feel better once the cord is cut and you're free of their blank, mirror-selfie-reflected gaze. To help, these are the types of people most deserving of getting the boot. And if you're worried about them finding out, don't be. They'll know what they did.
"Finally trying this out!" "Am I using Twitter right?" "Guess who gave in." These single sentences—among many others of a similar nature—make up the entirety of far too many Twitter users' timelines. But not just any Twitter users—Twitter users you follow. Whether you're holding on as part of a comprehensive internet stalking regime or merely in the hopes that they'll suddenly decide to actually use the account they made, if it's been a year with nary a tweet in sight, it's probably time to give up. Even if they're not clogging up your time line, they're hurting your follower-to-followee ratio. And no one wants that.
Their phones might as well be shackled to their fingers. They walk around in a daze, oblivious to everything outside of the Sisyphean task at hand—forever pulling, pulling to refresh. Thanks to cross-platform integration, you know exactly where they are, where they're going, who they're with, what they're doing, how they're feeling, and the dialogue of every single first date happening in their vicinity. And you. dont. care. about. any of it.
But as is often the case, their lives can only fill so many 140-character strings. That's why they'll also tweet about today's important issues. Every internet article even tangentially related to Miley Cyrus and/or twerking? Live-tweeting the live-tweeting of The Sound of Music? Ironic retweets—hundreds of times a day? They'll do it all as you continue watch, slowly dying with every second of the great cascade. We beg you, do it now; pull the plug. Your eyes will thank you.
Be it tri-hourly Bible quotes, online petition requests, or simply steady strings of verbal abuse for not expressing outrage over the slightest injustices affecting every man, woman, child, plant, pet, and household appliance, there comes a point when enough is enough. If we really cared about saving the West Nebraska tumbleweed, we'd already be doing something about it. One more verse from Phillippians or the teachings of Buddha or the Gospel of the Witches isn't going to sway us to a new faith or lack thereof, and guess what—we follow AP and CNN, too. Their retweets do nothing more than give them a chance to show people that, why yes, they do know how to read, and what's more, they read the news. Good, we're glad. We're also unfollowing you.
We all have that one (or more, depending on how much you hate yourself) person in our timelines. Terrible opinions? Obnoxious selfies? An almost awe-inspiring dedication to killing every single joke they come across? Check, check, and check. Every fresh photo, updated status, and newly sent Tweet fills our hearts with rage, and yet, we can't seem to look away. It just hurts so good. Their horribleness allows us to laugh at their expense and feel better about ourselves in the process, but let's be honest—that's not healthy for anyone. Now I'll admit, I've been particularly guilty of the hate-follow; I can think of 10 just off the top of my head. So believe me when I say, I know you think you don't want to, but trust me. You're better off without them.
Say hello to the nightmare of the social media world and the bane of personal boundaries everywhere. Susan ate eggs benedict at brunch today. You know this because Susan sepia-toned her eggs benedict at brunch today. You also know the exact time those eggs left Susan's body, how they felt along the way, their odor upon exiting, and the subsequent fight she had with her boyfriend because of said smell. Oh, and you also know how long Susan spent crying that night. And that this was her "worst May 12th ever." And how much she misses her baby boi. (It's a lot. She misses him a lot.)
Susan, we don't care about your webbed toes, your mother's routine mammogram, or any other number of biological, biographical, or sexually oriented tidbits. And we never have to pretend to ever again, because you, Susan, are getting unfriended.
You kind of remember talking to her about her cousins's brother's puppy at a party nine years ago, and for god knows what reason, that fact alone has been enough to bond you in internet friend matrimony for nearly a decade. Or perhaps even worse—maybe you've never met them. Maybe your Facebook mystery friend is that distant memory's cousin's brother who you friended for the sake of seeing a puppy. In both cases, though, you've never once interacted online. You have nothing to say to each other, nothing in common, and yet, you knew when they got into college, what they did over winter break, and how their adult life is turning out. And you couldn't give a shit if your life depended on it. Now's the time to streamline; let go, and finally give your attention to the people you actually care about.