As bloggers, we're all aware of the importance of numbers. We count page views, unique monthly visitors, and (of course) our social media stats. I keep my blog and personal social media accounts separate, and up until recently, I kept my personal social accounts public. I was even hired at my new job because of my social media skills.
I was recently alerted that a photo of me was being used. My first thought was that it was a blog photo... wrong. It was a selfie taken a few years ago that had been yanked from my personal social media account. It was creepy, and I'm still feeling all kinds of uncomfortable about it.
My response? A social media slim down. My first step was adjusting the security on my personal social media accounts. I always thought public accounts were a great way to show that I had nothing to hide. In all reality, they're great at giving someone who doesn't need insight into your life the opportunity to have insight into your life. If someone wants to yank a poor quality selfie of me, imagine what other info they'd like to get their hands on.
I didn't finish by making my account private. I started taking control of who could see what I posted. When you take a look into who you're connecting with, you might be shocked. On Facebook, I deleted over 700 people - exes + their friends and family, exes of my friends, names I didn't recognize, that girl I didn't care for from dance class, people I couldn't pick out of a crowd if my life depended on it, prom dress stores, someone that I barely knew that kept my feed clogged up with potty training stories about her child, animal accounts, men that were acquaintances, and a ton of people from middle school and high school that I hadn't seen in the past three years. I currently have about 1200 Facebook friends, and I still find that to be excessive.
I don't post as much on my personal Twitter or Instagram, but I felt like it would be nice to just clear it all out at once. I discovered I had accumulated quite a few rando dude followers during my three years of 'gramming, so that was really fun. (FYI - Blocking followed by unblocking is the trick to force someone to unfollow you.)
You know when you go get your hair trimmed, and even though you got like half an inch cut off, you feel like a new person? That's how cleaning out my personal social media made me feel.
This post isn't meant as a scare tactic, just a reminder that when it comes to social media, your safety comes first. I learned in my self defense class that sometimes women put themselves in dangerous or uncomfortable situations because they don't want to be seen as a bitch. Never feel guilty about denying a friend request, deleting someone, or blocking someone.
I'd love for you to share your favorite online safety tip with me! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to take some selfies to share with my slimmed down timeline ;) Stay safe, friends!
Isn't the photo from this post cool? I can't take credit! Check out more of Jack Moreh's work here.