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Anyone who works in social media or on the Internet in general knows that social media noise gets louder every single day. In fact, it is sometimes blaring out of control. This has become such a problem that programs and apps have been created to help reduce or filter the noise. Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and several other Twitter programs have made millions because of social media noise. There are ways to reduce the noise level. If you are wondering how to turn down social media noise and get work done you have come to the right place. Ironically, you probably found this article through social media.
You Cannot Consume All the Information
Many people come to me and ask how I can possibly keep up with all my notifications on Google+. With over 10,000 followers it can be a challenge at times. In fact, I would estimate that I average well over 500 notifications a day. Do I read and digest every single one of these notifications. No way. There is no way that I would have the time to do this. I definitely try to filter through to the most important notifications but I do not read them all.
I also limit my notifications on Google+. I do not turn on notifications from circles or communities. The only notification I receive is from a comment on a post, a +1 or or an added follower. This makes life a little bit easier. I have a much smaller following on Twitter so I only get a handful of notifications on that social network. I try to respond to most of them but it is never more than 20 or so.
I am a firm believer in not looking at all tweets or Google+ posts. I feel as if the good information will find me. I might be a little zen like in this thinking but I do not have the time to go through all Google+ posts and every single Tweet. This would take several hours a day. In fact, I do not even have any Twitter lists. I simply check it on my phone, see what catches my eye and move on. In all reality, I only look for the most interesting content shared by specific users on Twitter. I only follow about 275 Twitter accounts and over half of them are sports related. This cuts down on the noise significantly.
One thing I would encourage is to avoid the follow back mentality. If you follow everyone that follows you there is going to be way too much noise in a Google+ stream or a Twitter feed. I will follow someone I find interesting for a few days to see what they have to offer. If I do not like what I see I unfollow them. I do not feel bad about this in any way. We all have a different idea as to what is quality. I am not a #teamfollowback type of guy. I am a “give me amazing content” type of guy.
Walk Away. Several Times a Day
Just last week I wrote the article, “A Daily Walk Can Do Wonders for Work Productivity“. If you can walk away from social media you will find that it makes it much easier to get work done. I would also guess that you will enjoy it a little bit more when you return. It is like many other things in life. Everything is good in moderation. If you are consuming 10 hours of social media content a day you are going to burn yourself out. Trust me when I tell you. I have a motor that runs 100 mph while I am awake and there is only so much you can consume before hitting a wall.
Even if you don’t have the ability to get up and physically walk away it never hurts to close those apps on your smartphone. Turn the iPhone off, close all the tabs on your browser and get productive. Something that I have trouble with is the amount of tabs I have open at any given time. There are times I have 15 or more tabs open. To alleviate all the noise I try to reduce that to one or two when I am writing content or working.
The fact that Google+ and Twitter constantly tells you how many notifications you have is not healthy for productivity. Turn the noise down or completely off and you will be surprised how quickly you can get work done. The United States is filled with procrastinators. Rather than waiting until the last minute to get your work done it might be a good idea to turn down the social media noise and get ahead. Remember that this is not just on a desktop or laptop. Turn the apps off on your Android or iPhone as well. You will be surprised at how much you can get done.