Over the course of time (or maybe it’s just me getting older) I’ve learned that there is a certain kind of relief that comes with de-cluttering. After reading Gretchen Rubin’s book (which I must say, is a definite must-read for those of us who feel like we’re going on an endless loop-de-loop in life) I instantly followed one of her steps to a happier life.
One of which is cleaning up my closet. Who would’ve known that something as simple as this could boost one’s mood? One day as I reveled at the towering piles of clothes I’ve collected over the past..decade; I realized that my stuff mainly fall into these categories:
a) Clothes that looked nice in the dressing room mirror, but looked like something I’d never actually wear.
b) Worn-out clothes that I seemingly could NOT live without – talk about that solid black v-neck top that I wore whenever I was too lazy to put an outfit together – which was pretty much 80% of my life.
c) Hand-me-downs which had so much sentimental value.
d) Clothes that have gotten too tight as you know, metabolism *ehem* slows down drastically as years go by
e) Vacation shirts.
f) Bras that are over-stretched and worn out
g) Gym clothes that always made me want to wear them to the gym – out of guilt
h) My art stash. This list is unending. Honestly. I couldn’t tell you how much I’ve hoarded over the past years. I’m a sucker for cute stuff.
The day I let go of these, is the day I felt the weight being lifted off my shoulders. The guilt for not using my gym clothes. The sadness that my 20-something clothes could no longer fit. The heaviness of seeing stuff I could never use on a daily basis, brought a tiny bit of either remorse every day I crack open my cabinet.
I gave some of my stationery away to some of my -awesome- Instagram followers, with the hopes that I could spread the happiness those things brought me at one point in my life. I’ve donated some of my clothes to people I know would appreciate them, and some I’ve sold in a thrift market (where the proceeds are donated to Rescue Dogs).
In a way, this has brought a kind of release for me. I felt a sense of lightness that the pressure of actually USING the things I’ve bought was gone. At the same time I was glad that I’ve made others happy in turn.
I’m writing about this today, not because of my closet clean up. It’s actually about de-cluttering my Facebook Friends List.
It was one night when I couldn’t fall asleep, I decided to delete every one who didn’t fall under all of these catergories:
- Have we spoken (chat or in any means possible) in the last 6 months?
- Have we seen each other within the past 2 years?
- Have we worked together and are we still working together in a project/business?
- Has he/she said anything to make me feel incompetent or unusually uneasy?
I realized that Facebook has NOT connected us to each other. Social Media has actually brought people further apart, fueled and brought down by emotions of inadequacy, insecurity, entitlement and the desperate need to have MORE. More travels, more photos to post, more likes, more followers, more subscribers, more, more, more.
This generation has forgotten what it is like to have ENOUGH.
This generation has forgotten how to make friends. To think you would already call someone you recently met, looked up and ‘added’ on Facebook, a FRIEND. It’s quite different to the traditional way of making friends where two people meet, shake hands, engage in small talk, move on to deep conversations over coffee, read each other’s facial expressions and gestures. Back then we read people for what we see them, how they talk down to their subtlest body language. Now all we read are blatant Facebook Status Updates, selfies and (the cause of all self-pity, the ever famous) #HumbleBrags.
That is not the type of friendship that makes us people. That type of friendship negates the mission of social media to bring us together.
With all of these thoughts and realities swimming in my head, I deleted my Facebook “friends” one by one that night. (Trust me it was a long process of removing one by one, there is no easy way to multiple-delete, in case you’re thinking of trying). I felt that I needed to let go of the people I accepted and added for the sake of calling them an ‘acquaintance’ or a ‘friend’ or even just ‘someone I met in the grocery store’.
Currently, all that I use Facebook for is to get updates on the trends, art, business, news and of course – DOGS. I’m sure this may spark different views from readers. Please note that my choice to de-clutter my Facebook List was to free myself of excess baggage and memories I wanted to move on from (which is not by any means to “delete” people out of my life, but to re-live the traditional sense of friendship – not by adds, likes or comments. But rather by what it actually means).
Self-care is important, Self-care is real.
My friends list shrank from 1,000+ to 83. There is no shame in it. I doubt half of my friends list would notice, though. I was a tad worried that many of my friends might get upset with me had they found out one day that I ‘unfriended’ them. But I knew that if people are truly our friends, a man-made social media website shouldn’t be the basis of our friendship. I’m not even Facebook friends with my boyfriend and it doesn’t make us any less in-love. Unfriending my family does not make us any less of a family, either.
It doesn’t matter who we’re friends with on Facebook. It matters who we’re friends with in real life.
If social media is the very core of our self-esteem and social well-being… Then what has our world come to?
Think about it. Does Facebook actually Spark Joy?