The first decluttering action I’ve taken in my quest to simplify my life is to deactivate my Facebook account.
I used to love Facebook. Through it I was able to reconnect with so many old friends. It was wonderful to renew contact with school friends and old colleagues. We could satisfy our mutual curiosity about eachother, and answer the old, “What ever happened to…?” questions.
Through the regular status updates, I felt that I knew what was happening in the lives of friends living in different cities or countries. I could also keep up with the daily minutae of my friends’ lives here. I loved that.
Its been a few years however, and I’ve fallen out of love.
I’ve started to find those daily status updates irritating. Its really just a lot of inane small talk, which, while occasionally amusing, is usually fairly boring and inconsequential. I’d prefer to spend my time having some quality conversations rather than reading and contributing to the inanities of Facebook status updates. I find the blog community that I’ve become a part of far more satisfying. We have real conversations about real ideas – but to do that on Facebook would somehow seem inappropriate.
More concerningly, I’ve realised that Facebook is increasingly becoming a substitute for real communication, and a fairly poor substitute at that. Facebook takes all the effort and care out of communicating – its so easy to send a virtual Christmas Card or post a birthday message on someone’s wall. But while its easy, the gesture seems hollow. I remember a time when I would call my friends on their birthday, and when they would call me. There was a personal touch and a warmth to it that I miss. Its kind of like comparing food from a fast food outlet to a home cooked meal. Once in a while is alright, but you wouldn’t want to have it as your main source of nutrition.
In order to simplify my life, I’ve decided to remove the clutter. I’ll keep the things I need and the things that I love. I don’t need or love Facebook any more. Yesterday I deactivated my account and I couldn’t be happier with that.