My Journey to Minimalism: Part #1

10:34 am

I've always found it extremely therapeutic to delete people off of Facebook. After teenage years of wanting to have the highest friend count out of my friend group, or looking up to people I knew with lists in the thousands (I guess this was more applicable to Myspace as that was 'the thing' back then), I'm having a wonderful time paring that number down again. I'm deleting anyone from school who I only knew because they were in the same musical production as me, anyone I met drunkenly at the student union when I was doing my undergraduate degree, or anyone from that period whom I only ever spoke to about what we were studying. They all have to go. 

Then there's the issue of people you know you can't delete for varying reasons (you met under strange circumstances and they would know 100% that you deleted them, rather than you never being friends in the first place, if you understand what I'm trying to say, i.e. not someone from school who would just assume you were never friends in the first place). I've been unfollowing their feeds, so it still says I'm their friend, I just can't see any of their 'So-And-So liked a video'/'Earned a new badge on Farmville'/'Shared an article' updates. Not as therapeutic, but does the same wonderful job of clearing the junk and unimportant (to me) things on my social media.

I've been unfollowing many, many Twitter and Instagram accounts too. This is the point where you find out I've unfollowed you; please don't take it personally. Or do, that's up to you. I am endeavoring to turn my feeds into something I want to read, something that doesn't say I have 200 posts I've missed when I haven't checked it for an hour, something that makes me feel good rather than concerned. I used to be all about following as many things as possible so I could attempt to absorb as much information as I could about absolutely anything. I was convinced it would make me a more interesting person, but instead I just end up ignoring everything. Now my feeds are looking a bit clearer, with occasional updates on things I care about. Books, wellbeing, happy thoughts. My Instagram is basically a barren wasteland of updates, and I like it that way.

Of course I also got heavily into sorting out my email updates. I keep a very empty inbox anyway, archiving away anything I'm not interested in or is no longer relevant. Inbox zero is a sweet, sweet place to live. But now I make sure that when those emails come in that I'm not interested in, I click on their 'unsubscribe' button, usually buried at the bottom of the message. Tidier inbox, a lot less archiving needed. I get emails from family and selected newsletters that make me feel happy and educated when I read them (Ann Friedman, Emma Gannon, Sarah Starrs, etc). That's all.

Finally, my Bloglovin' feed needed taking down a peg or two. It sat there, week in, week out, jeering at me with its 'new posts' count in the hundreds, knowing I couldn't keep up and that it was getting me down. First move: go into settings and change my feed to 'oldest posts first'. That's more motivation to get reading, as you'll never be tempted when a brand new shiny post appears on the top to read it and ignore the rest. Scroll through, read what you want, and cut out any blogs you find yourself always clicking 'mark as read' for. You're not interested in what they're posting, just admit it. Let them go. Now my feed happily chugs away at ~20 new posts in a day, which is much easier to deal with, I get to read things I'm interested in, and the smaller number gives me more time to actually interact with the person posting, leaving comments and letting them know that I enjoyed what they're saying. It's a blogging community for a reason and I definitely let that get out of my sight for a while.

So we've got Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin', and my emails under control. Next time: passwords, privacy, and information security. Recommended reading would be this guide called 'DIY Feminist Cybersecurity'. 

Let's sort our shit out.

M x

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