Monday, June 18, 2012

The Great Facebook Purge Of 2012: De-Cluttering Your Life

I recently posted the result of the Great Facebook Purge Of 2012, on, well, my Facebook page. Yesterday morning I sat at 494 Facebook "friends," and today I sit at 256. I've cut my Facebook waistline by almost half.  One of my remaining friends was curious as to why I had made such a move, so I thought I'd write a post about it.

De-cluttering your online presence can be just as freeing as de-cluttering your apartment or house. A spring cleaning if you will. We all hate to do it, but once it's done and we have more room, we wonder why we hadn't partaken in this activity a long time ago.  Online cleaning can be a tricky process, but also easier, as you can do so while sitting in your underwear in bed (not that that's what I did at all.)  Online cleaning involves going through our in-boxes and deciding which of the sometimes-hundreds of e-mails we are going to read, and which we're simply going to throw into the trash bin. When it comes to Facebook, it's a bit trickier, because people could potentially be offended by your "unfriending" them. However, I found that when I looked at my friends list, there were several people there whom I had never even met and never talked to. There were old classmates who, though I wish well, I never talked to either and they didn't talk to me. And there were a few people who were so different from me now that we had little in common to remain "friends." I think that sometimes we are only meant to know certain people during one period in our lives and then let them go as we enter another period. Facebook changes all that and the clutter builds up.

A lot of this has to do with  my ongoing, persistent call to simplify my life and to quiet down. Some people get their energy by being around a lot of people; I get my energy and rejuvenation by spending time alone and being quiet (now this doesn't mean I don't have my moments; I enjoy good, one-on-one conversations, and am even delivering the talk at my faith community in a few weeks).

Sometimes the more clutter we have in our lives, whether online or otherwise, drowns out that inner voice, call it God, the Universe, the Divine, your Higher Self, that is trying to get through to us. We keep ourselves so busy, we don't listen to ourselves or the Divine Presence, and then we wonder why we're so unhappy.

Facebook and other social media can quickly turn to narcissism as well; this can be the case for me sometimes.

So today, after the Great Facebook Purge of 2012, I would encourage you to take some time to slow down, quiet down, and de-clutter so that personal or spiritual growth can take place.

I'll be telling myself the same thing.

Mark Andrew Alward