Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Cleaning!

'Tis the season for some spring cleaning! Yes, I do need to tidy up the tangibles (ie: my apartment), but let's not forget the intangibles (social media)!

Cleaning up your social media profiles and pages is just as refreshing as organizing your desk.

Here's ten ways to spring clean your cyber life:

1. Unfriend/Unfollow people
Unfriending and unfollowing should be done for a few reasons:

  • People you went to high school with but you have never had at least a five minute conversation with do not need access to your Facebook profile. Odds are, they're just nosy.
  • Facebook is a great networking tool for jobs and internships. Look at your friends list; if you don't personally know the person or they're not a contact for school or work or career opportunities, they don't really need to be viewing your profile.
  • Friending professional athletes and celebrities you don't know doesn't give you "Facebook cred." It just makes you look like a huge creep. Keep your creeping confined to people you actually know or can't research on Wikipedia. 
  • Report spam accounts. It sounds like a pain, but it take five seconds and benefits others as well.
  • Twitter is a more of an open sphere then Facebook, but still harbors just as many bragg-y and complaining tweeters. These people are annoying (most know it), so don't bog down your feed with their incessant complaints or mole-hill accomplishments. Make room for things that actually benefit you.
Alternative: Unfortunately, people are more childish on the Internet than in real life, or they take the Internet way too serious. Either way, sometimes unfollowing or unfriending is more trouble than it's worth. If this is the case, then change your notification settings for what shows up in your newsfeed. On Facebook, you can change the settings per friend--a total Godsend.

2. Hide less-than-flattering Facebook photos
This is a great idea especially if you're looking for an internship or post-graduation job. Take a few minutes to untag those photos from Friday night's drunken debauchery. Those don't need to be front and center on your Timeline for all to see. If you want to view them, head over to your friend's profile and flip through the album.

3. Swap your Facebook cover photo
Changing your cover photo is a quick way to switch things up. Exchange the drab, black-and-white snowscape for a colorful, sunny, beach picture from spring break.

4. Check your privacy settings
Facebook is a serial settings changer. Sometimes you think your profile is private and, thanks to settings changes, it's not. Every few months or so check your privacy settings. Just to make sure you're getting the privacy you think you are.

5. Minimize Twitter parody accounts
Meme and humor Twitter handles are on the rise. Don't let them clog your newsfeed by following all 809830529835 "Condescending Willy Wonka" accounts. Pick the best one (or two) and unfollow the rest.

6.  Edit your LinkedIn account
LinkedIn is an online resume and you should treat it just like you would your hard copy résumé. Keep it up-to-date.  Look at the things you have listed in your profile--are they still relevant? How many years ago did you get that certificate? How long has it been since you volunteered with that organization? Ditch out-dated information.

7. De-clutter your email inbox
Folders! I cannot stress enough the use of folders when organizing anything electronically, especially email. It takes just as many clicks to direct an email into a folder as it does to send junk mail to the trash bin. Do it. Folders keep your inbox clean and simplify searches.

8. Start using Twitter lists
Lists are time-consuming to setup, if you follow a lot of people, but are worth the effort. Especially if, like me, you're quite eclectic. My Twitter feed is compromise of athletes, news outlets, PR firms, tv personalities, sports teams, bands and the list goes on. But sorting handles into lists, I can look at only hockey updates or PR updates. I can go as far as sorting handles by team or company to get only that specific organization's updates.

9. Sort your bookmarks
Another pain-in-the-butt task, but, again, is worth the time. Aside from sorting things into folders, delete broken links and links you no longer need.

10. Rearrange your desktop
My desktop is relatively clean--I have a few files and folders lining the right side, my Twitter dock on the left side and a few stickies scattered about my screen. But, I know plenty of people who are guilty of icon overload. Their desktops are chucked-full with files and folders haphazardly filling the screen. Condense simliar files into folders, delete unnecessary files and put files you want to keep but don't use regularly in folders on your hard drive.

What are your spring cleaning rituals? Leave a comment and let us know!

Rock out, kiddies!
- Jasmine

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