Obviously my detox steps aren’t in any significant order, but this morning as I was thinking about what I need to detox in my live Facebook crossed my mind. I currently have 385 friends and look at Facebook at least 5 times a day.
When I was younger how many friends you had was significant, somehow it validated my and how “popular” I was. Over the last few years what has having so many “friends” done for me? Half the time all it has done is contribute to my insecurities by allowing me to constantly compare myself with people who I wouldn’t even recognise if I saw them walking down the street! How many people did I go to school with, that now have families or material possessions that society thinks I should have at 37, that makes me feel like a failure? How many of these people do I really care about?
I am also conscious that I spend/waste a lot of time on Facebook. Realistically, the only reason I should use it is to organise events, be entertained with memes or follow inspiring or cute sites that bring me joy (I have an obsession with otter pages at the moment). Any real friend that I care about will tell me any significant news in person, not rely on Facebook. If I am learning on Facebook that you are engaged or pregnant, you are not a close friend, so me congratulating you or liking your news isn’t probably going to make a material difference to your life either. There is no real reason for me to be on the site as much as I am. Instagram and Pinterest bring me inspiration and allow me to share the beautiful and joyful things in my life without being a source of news. Facebook does not have the same function, so I am going to become less reliant on it and free up some wasted space to find some habits that bring me joy.
- Remove the Facebook app from my phone (so I can only access the site at home). I will keep the messenger app on my phone, but there is no good reason to need access to the Facebook site.
- Cull my friends list:
- Remove anyone who no longer has a profile (obviously)
- Remove anyone I haven’t interacted with in the last 2 years (either in person or via Facebook)
- Remove anyone I wouldn’t want to talk to if I saw them in real life
- Remove any ex boyfriends
- Remove anyone I used to work with that I won’t likely see again
- Remove any school friends I will be unlikely to come across in everyday life
- Remove anyone no longer alive (I know how terrible that sounds, but I have relationships with those left behind, I don’t need to see strangers post on her page for their healing)
- Remove any connections that I was only friends with due to an ex, that I haven’t maintained a relationship with.
- Unfollow any friends that I want to keep, but on my terms. I have a friend who uses Facebook a lot to vent her life’s frustrations and share her struggles with anxiety and depression. This works for her, but isn’t the sort of thing I want clogging up my news feed, so by unfollowing her I can get her updates on my terms.
As a result I now have less than 200 friends and hopefully a lot more free time for more productive things. I will do the cull again in 6 months and take a book on my commute!
How do your numbers reduce when you do these steps?