My friends have been asking my why I decided to take a FaceBook hiatus and whether I’ll be coming back or not.
The answer to the latter question is easier. Yes, probably.
There have definitely been times when I felt like I was out of the loot on the latest gossip among my friends. But not that often. The fact of the matter is that I don’t need to know very single facebook post from someone in order to still feel connected. This weekend I went to a friends place for a 4th of July picnic. He had a very nice conversation out back while lighting the charcoal for the grill. We didn’t even talk much about what is going on with us personally. We chatted about various geeky topics including his idea for a geographically aware virtual cork board. And I told him of my angst over internet authentication methods. Fun. And I felt more connected to him in those 15 minutes that a month of inane FaceBook posts ever could.
So I’m finding that keeping up with your Facebook News Feed isn’t the same thing as keeping up with people. Not even close.
Trent Hamm, the guy behind The Simple Dollar blog, had a great post reently called, “Decluttering and Your Money” which was mostly about an observation he had about people whose houses were cluttered were generally not very good at managing money. What fascinated me was his definition of “clutter.” In his words:
“Clutter is anything in your life that you have inadequate time to enjoy or inadequate space to store.. “
That seems simple enough and he gives a few typical examples:
“When you’re embarrassed to let someone see some part of your home because of the piles of stuff you have jammed in there, that’s clutter.
When you burn fifteen minutes digging through junk drawers looking for the one thing in there you actually have any need for, that’s clutter”
But the example that gave me that “aha!” feeling was this one:
“When you’re juggling so many relationships that the truly important ones are withering on the vine, you’re experiencing clutter.”
I had never quite verbalized it. But that’s exactly why I had to take a break from FaceBook. I had so many connections, so many “friends” that my relationships were getting cluttered. I couldn’t handle seeing hundreds of updates from people I barely knew, used to know, or already know plenty well enough and don’t want to know more thank you, that it was sapping my energy to deal with the truly important ones.
So if/when I go back to Facebook, I’m going to go back to it in a way that it adds to my truly important relationships instead of taking away time and mental energy from them.
No, I have no idea how I’m going to do that. Yet.