It seems like minimalism is the “in” thing right now. On a good number of the blogs I read, there are tips on how to purge your wardrobe, your belongings, and commitments. I love these ideas, but there is one aspect of purging that’s missing: your Facebook friends list. After deactivating for a few days recently (which I may write more about because I know people are riveted by my every word…), I discovered that there were certain people whose updates I missed and others that I didn’t. I’m slowly cleaning out my friends list, and I have found four benefits in doing so:
1. It saves you time: Scrolling through status updates of hundreds of people (or however many Facebook wants to show you this week) is time consuming. Sure, you can hide people’s updates that you don’t really care to see, but if you’re doing that, shouldn’t you just go ahead and delete them?
2. It saves you emotional energy: Recently someone on my list posted about something that upset her. I didn’t really see why it made her so angry, so I spent more time than I care to admit doing research about the topic in order to post something about how she was getting too worked up about it. Thankfully, before I did that, I snapped to my senses and realized that I had better things to do and more important things to focus on. You may not be like me, but if you find yourself frequently getting worked up by things that people post on Facebook, then it’s time to evaluate whether or not you should remain friends with them.
3. It lets you build more authentic relationships: Take a look at your friends list. How many people are on there that you don’t really know how you know? What about people from high school that you really didn’t hang out with or people from a job you used to work at or a church you used to attend? Chances are, when you take a look at your entire friends list, you’ll find people that you haven’t talked to in months (or longer). Why do you need to know what they’re doing if you haven’t cared enough to contact them?
4. It can always be undone: If you go through a massive friend purge and realize that you miss seeing someone’s updates, then I have good news for you: you can always re-request them! Explain that you were reading a random blog about how great it would be to purge your friends list and you got a little crazy with the unfriending, but you miss seeing their updates. Simple as that.
Have any of you cleaned off your friends list? Did it change anything about how you use Facebook or connect with people? Do you think this whole topic is silly, and I need to be focusing on more important things, like cleaning out the massive piles of junk that are in our future nursery? 😉