Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Area I Refuse To Simplify

It's the third day of 2015, and I feel like I'm behind the game.  I should have had my goals for the year neatly mapped out by 9:00pm on December 31st so I'd be ready to go the next day when the calendar became fresh and new.  It's not like I didn't want to have my goal set out; I just am having a hard time pulling them together.  I will, mind you, but I decided to not be bound by the calendar.

Blogs are fun to read this time of year.  They're chock full of ideas of goals and plans, as all the wonderful people who write them are more on the ball than I am, and have their lives ready to go.  I suppose another side of the coin is finding ideas and goals that you know without a doubt you absolutely do not want any part of.

This blog post popped up in my news feed.  I like the blog in general, and the title of the post is compelling this time of year: "Making Facebook Interactions More Purposeful."  I think we all want that, right?  We know how clouded and half-hearted social media has become.  The lovely author needed to create more boundaries in her life, so she deleted 500 people from her friends list.  The post explains her reasoning and how she did it, and is very informative. 

But while I do understand the heart of her post, I absolutely do not agree with the method.  Here's the thing: yes, your Facebook profile is probably filled with mostly people you do not interact with on a regular basis.  But whether you want it to or not, deleting someone from your friend list is a very clear signal that says "Your life is not worth my time." 

A few months ago I was in Target and I saw an old MOPS friend across the way.  What did I do? I turned down the other aisle to avoid her.  Because a few months before that I had thought about her and realized I hadn't seen any Facebook activity from her in awhile.  I bopped over to her page, only to find out that she had unfriended me.  So when I saw her in person I felt extremely awkward with the knowledge that either I offended her somehow or she just deemed my activities not worth her time.  Hence the passive-aggressive avoidance act.

The author of the post mentioned how it had taken her a long time to pull the trigger on deleting so many people because she didn't want to hurt people's feelings, but then decided that wasn't a good enough reason.  But I think people's feelings should always matter.  Especially in the world of Facebook, where if you are trying to clean up your news feed, then you have the option of simply unfollowing people, rather than completely cutting them off.  They may not mean that much to you, but perhaps you mean a whole lot more to them, whether they show it or not.  And that knife could go a whole lot deeper than you meant it to when they realize that you've shut them out without so much as a word why. 

I've unfriended people before.  I regret it now.  It pains me to think that maybe one day they were looking for me and very obviously saw that I closed them out.  I know from experience that that realization causes pain, no matter how close you were at one time.  And it's not enough to just say to them, "It wasn't personal!  I was just trying to clean things up!  And you didn't make the cut!" 

I will never simplify my friends list.  I reserve the right to unfollow someone, but I always want to leave that door open, so if they need me, I'm here.  I think I would only unfriend someone if they were actively doing things to do me harm, but thankfully I haven't had to deal with that yet.

Obviously everyone will do what is best for themselves.  But I challenge you to always consider someone's feelings, and find every avenue possible to handle something before resorting to something as clear as unfriending them.  Because once that door is closed, it may not be easily opened.  And people matter.

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