Time to quit those virtual groups?

The past couple of days I’ve been busy quitting virtual groups on Facebook, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn accounts. Particularly the ones that aren’t adding any value.

One of the most striking observations I had was that I was part of over 38 groups on Facebook, 21 on WhatsApp, and 7 on LinkedIn! Now, that’s a lot of groups! At least for me. And if these weren’t online, attending to most (if not each and every one) of them would have easily replaced my full-time job!

So, I perused through each of the groups, reviewed their content and activity levels before leaving them. The criteria was pretty simple:

  1. Are they relevant to the state of career I’m at? As a talent management consultant and professional coach, my objective is to stay up to date with industry updates and insights. Is the content absolutely relevant to my interests and the kind of information that I value? If not, get out.
  2. How active are the members of the group? Are they regularly posting content? Most importantly, are they engaging with the content others are posting? If the answer is no, it’s an easy pass. Lately I’ve observed that most members do their due diligence to post content but nobody gives a damn about it. Perhaps, they’re too busy or they’ve just had enough.
  3. Is the group big on viral videos? If yes, let me tell you, it’s a massive time suck. Stay out of such groups because they’ll kill time and nothing else. You’ve got other options for entertainment.

My “portfolio” has become a lot leaner and so much more meaningful. Reviewing updates barely takes me a few minutes. Also, I’m now able to see content that never would’ve made it to the top, thanks to Facebook’s silly algorithm that favours most viewed content over what’s I consider to be valuable.

Quitting WhatsApp groups have been a major relief — I was getting sick of updates and messages about Covid-19. And I was getting even sicker of those bigger groups where you drop a message only to hear crickets. Don’t see a point being active in an inactive group.

LinkedIn is a different beast — I honestly don’t think the groups are any useful. Unless, of course, you’ve literally paid for admission by way of online courses or certification programs. These groups, thankfully, are almost always humming with conversations and/or updates that are relevant. Everything else seems like a virtual container with people in them. I don’t even understand why people sign up to be part of these groups when they have absolutely no intention to be active in it!

Perhaps, you’re one of those rare beings who receives immense value from these groups. More power to you! Though, I don’t believe it. But for the rest, time is a major constraint when it comes to staying active in virtual groups. I get it. And that is a solid reason to start decluttering our virtual portfolios. There’s just too much junk out there.

Of course, we can choose not to do anything at all. But if you’re seeking better control and peace of mind in this chaotic world of ours, this could be a great first step.

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