Periodically I like to go through Twitter, Facebook, and Google Reader and just … delete. Minimize. Cleanse. Today I did precisely that, and it led to some observations (mostly centered around Facebook):

  • Seriously, I got rid of about 10% of my friends just by deleting inactive accounts. (Which brings to mind the question: Hey Facebook, WHY are you listing inactive accounts??) Part of me wonders why each person deactivated; part of me envies/admires them for it.
  • I don’t even recognize the names of like half the people I’m connected to. Not because we aren’t friends anymore. Mostly because lots of ladies got married. (Sidebar: I won’t be changing my name.) Also, some people just like using ridiculous pseudonyms and/or making themselves hard to find for professional reasons.
  • It was kind of fun to reminisce about the different periods of my life from whence these people came. Especially the 2 groups of freshman that I was Resident Assistant for. I miss those kids and their hijinks.
  • It was really sad to see “Memorial Page” next to one girl’s name. We’re too young for that.
  • There are wedding and baby pics everywhere. We’re too young for that too! (Okay not really, but it still feels like it sometimes.)
  • Dang, Facebook is glitchy.
  • If I have to add you to a “restricted” list, we probably shouldn’t be friends anyway.
  • There really ought to be a way to filter political posts out of one’s news feed. I can be friends with people who think differently from me, but that doesn’t mean I want to read all their snarky status updates.

This latest cleanse was partly spurred by the peace I felt while on vacation, when I was mostly disconnected from the internet. Natalia Sylvester (who, ironically, I met through social media) said it perfectly in her latest post, “In the Vastness of Memory”:

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with social networking lately. I love the people it’s helped me connect to. I hate the co-dependency that constantly being plugged in has fostered.

I’m not saying let’s all be done with it. I’m just saying I want the control back. I want to share the occasional moment and be at peace with keeping some for myself.

Me too. And that’s something I’m going to strive toward in the days and weeks to come.

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