The Following Purge

Taking control of your enjoyment.

Frederik Verhagen


Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I’ve always followed people with similar interests on social media. The enjoyment of drawing, Final Fantasy XI, and anime ended in lasting relationships. The communities and experiences were great! But just like how every action has an equal and opposite reaction, there were ordeals along the way.

One of the most trying experiences occurred whenever people were on opposing sides of an argument that affected the entire group. I learned that drama aids in separating true friends from ‘friends.’

Other trials came with algorithm changes. Drastic changes to social media platforms forced an exodus of people I followed and communicated with. This event, too, filtered out those who were less meaningful in my life.

Case in point: I followed art friends from DeviantArt to Tumblr for it’s ease of blogging showcasing artwork, and communication. When Tumblr drastically changed its policies, many moved to Twitter, where we’ve been ever since.

I reconsidered my approach to the people and accounts I follow after that last move between platforms. To limit drama, starving artists, and negativity showing up on my feed, I decided only to follow those who spark joy in me. Whenever I open Twitter, I want to leave likes, share excitement, and turn my phone off with a smile.

Following this approach, I recently unfollowed half the writers I followed on Medium in my second purge. Medium’s recent changes made finding the writers I enjoy more difficult. Instead of subscribing to them to receive email notifications (I prefer to keep most notifications in-platform), I cleaned up the list of people I follow so only those who bring me joy with their topics show up on my feed.

The writers I quit following were either those I helped to reach 100 followers or passing interests. They either wrote about uninteresting topics or wrote their last article in January.

Like Twitter, I hope this cleanse brings back the enjoyment I experienced during the first months I joined Medium. We all need more joy in our lives!

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Frederik Verhagen

Stay-at-home father and dork who writes about creativity, science fiction, and little discoveries in life. 🔗