Spring Clean Your Facebook

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like spring.  I mean what’s not to like?  Fresh air, warm weather, pretty colors… Everything just feels new and exciting.  I know many of us like to take the time to de-clutter our lives, reorganize things and overall do some spring cleaning.  Typically this entails house and yard work, but I’m encouraging you to also take this time to “spring clean” your Facebook.

Over the months I have gradually decreased the number of friends I have on Facebook.  I can say without a doubt this has been one of the best choices I have made.  It has resulted in less time spent on Facebook in general as I no longer need hours to read through my news feed.  The items that now do show up are ones that I actually enjoy reading because they’re being posted by people who genuinely mean something to me.  Mind you I still have those random ads thrown in the mix and things posted by pages I’ve “liked”, but overall the content is much more relevant to me.  In cutting down my Facebook time I find that I have more time for other things such as reading, writing, exercising and cleaning the house.  We all want more than 24 hours in a day, so cutting out time spent on Facebook, without intentionally having to cut down the time, is an easy way to feel like there’s more time in the day.

I know it may seem hard to start cutting people, but trust me, once you get into it you really start to evaluate who means something to your life.  When I first began I started by asking myself which people I actually wanted to see my own statuses, comments and pictures.  If I wouldn’t typically talk to that person in “real life” then there was no point in keeping him or her as part of my online life.  Then I began weeding out people whose lives I really didn’t need to know about including people I went to high school with.  There’s nothing wrong with most of these people; it’s not that I dislike them, but just that I have no real life relationship with them so there’s no point in reading about their lives or having them read about mine.  If you’re still struggling an easy way to decide yes or no to someone is to say to yourself “Do I ever write something to them or do they ever write something to me?”  If the answer is no then there’s no point in keeping them on there.  I have even gone so far as to delete off all my current coworkers save one.  This is for more personal reasons than I care to elaborate on, but let’s just say I was advised to “trust no one” when it comes to career advancement.  Rather than pick and choose and risk being questioned by people why they never longer on the list, it was just easiest to cut everyone.  Honestly I see these people on a daily basis as is, I can certainly ask them about their lives and they mine so overall to me there is no real loss but much more gain.

Sometimes I feel slight guilt in not accepting people’s friend requests if I do indeed know them.  Having fewer, more intimate relationships has always been my style of friendship through the years, and I’m finally applying that to my online life as well.  I find that it’s caused me to rely less on Facebook and be more willing to text or call someone to catch up and have more of a legit conversation than just writing a comment and waiting for a reply or like to it.

I think when most of us joined Facebook the craze to have as many friends as possible and accept people whether you really knew them or not caused us to accept more people than necessary.  In doing this we’ve increased the amount of time we waste on Facebook while not really getting to know anyone any better from it.  So go ahead, go to your friends list and start hitting that delete button.  It’s a lot easier than cleaning the windows after all.

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