digital decluttering

Although I really dreaded having to do #5 on my TB30 list, I got some great encouragement from my friend L. She suggested, in keeping with my 30’s theme, that I delete 30% of my Facebook friends.  Now, I consider myself pretty selective in who I have “friended” on FB and definitely don’t play the “let’s see who can get the most friends on FB” game, but was surprised that after doing the math, I realized that in deleting 30% that I would have to delete 154.5 friends!

I think FB can have different purposes for different people. Some may want to use it to reconnect with everyone from their past and keep up with all those in there present life. Others may use it as a way to make new friends. I’ve noticed some of my friends who use it just to stay in touch with the very closest of friends and family and usually have friend lists in the teens and twenties. I think for me, I use FB for a combination of those purposes. Originally, I really loved using FB to reconnect with friends from the past. After all, I did attend 4 colleges and had lost touch with many dear high school friends. I admit when I first signed up for a FB account, it was super exciting to receive new friend requests daily from people that I hadn’t heard from in years. It was nice to see that people had started careers and families. But honestly, with some of those “friends” from the past, we really haven’t “talked” since that intial reconnection over 4 years ago. There were also those friend requests from people that I happened to meet once because, for example we took a class together, but since then haven’t talked. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love FB. I probably love it too much. But I guess going into my 30’s, I feel the need to have quality (versus quantity) among my friends and want to use FB less of a networking tool and more of a way to keep in touch with those I’m already in touch with.

So, instead of deleting 30%, I went with a more modest goal of 30 (and actually ended up getting rid of 32). I didn’t really have any rhyme or reasoning as I tried to figure out who to “defriend” (that sounds so horrible). If I looked at the profile picture and couldn’t remember their name or if I couldn’t remember how I knew them or if I was a friend of their friends’ friend, then I probably shouldn’t be “friends” with them anyway. I mean, what kind of “friend” can’t recognize you from your picture? And while the act of cleansing the FB friends list makes me sound like a meany weanie or a FB snob, it surprisingly was cathartic. I guess to me, it was an act that is inline with my intent to live a full life, which part of doing that is to simplify and so it was easier to do than I thought it would be.

I don’t know though. In these days where everyone is always saying “Networking is everything” and “It’s who you know that will get you hired, not what your resume looks like”, I hope I won’t regret doing this. Did I do the right thing?

6 thoughts on “digital decluttering

    • I think I did. I’m torn between being worried that people will have feelings hurt and being glad that I’m simplifying life. But I think I did. It’s okay because people use FB for different reasons (right?). I used to use it to catch up with everyone and everybody and now I want to use it to keep in touch with friends/family (and not acquaintances). I’m sure those that I deleted won’t even notice.

  1. I agree with the FB issue. I decided NOT to put my maiden name down since I didn’t want to hear from HS friends even tho I had a very good experience with HS. It’s nice catching up with some people but think about it….once you find out what has been happening with them for the last____years what more is there to say???
    My husband will tell you, I’m a person of few words. He actually is the talker of the 2 of us.

  2. I’ve been wanting to do this for some time now… There are people I never liked in the first place (not a we didn’t hang out didn’t like but a your character and mine are totally out of line…) that some of their posts give me more grief than I enjoy reading… there are people that are on their because they are my sister, friend, co-workers, ex-boyfriend or something like that… and there are people I NEVER talk to! I am just so worried about pleasing people I don’t want to offend someone by deleting them.. This will be a goal of mine in the near future. Since my 30th is right around the corner (13 days) maybe this can be one goal I can reach before then…

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