Hello from day #5 of 1.H.O.T. I hope your fourth of July was fun. My family and I got together with some friends for a bar-b-que. We had way more food than we should have eaten and I enjoyed every minute of it, especially the Oreo Mint Ice Cream my son made!
On the technological front, two times during our evening, I found myself feeling a little odd due to my little experiment in cutting back the social media. At one point during the night, I got to texting a friend and recognized how out of place it was in the midst of the great time I was having with my friends there in the backyard. The other was when I noticed that my phone was eerily just sitting in my pocket and I had no need to be checking it every several minutes. Cutting the phone notifications has been a huge step in getting back in touch with the people that I am spending time with in person (read my second entry below).
But something else that has really helped tremendously, has been "Unfriending" people from Facebook. During my week of preparation, I cut my list in half (over 150 people) and my goal is to be well under 150. I know, I know. I can almost hear the cries now... "Don't unfriend me!" "Why would you EVER DO THAT?!?" Well, I can honestly say, after cutting all those people and having about 60 or so more that I am considering, my Facebook has become a joy again and not a burden. Like in olden times, it is something I can check really quick, instead of feeling stuck at cycling through my "News" Feed for 30 or more minutes.
You can't tell me that there is something appealing of being in and out of Facebook in under 3 minutes, even with commenting on friends' stuff. That's right. Under 3 minutes from the newest posting to where I left off the last time I checked.
Or maybe your comment would be something more like, "I don't know that I would be able to delete anyone." You probably have more than you realize when you add up the personalities that you really aren't friends with, that person you randomly added as a friend because of some event, and that person who only posts to FB once a month other than their game requests (which happens more often than you might realize). Also, I have found that I had many husband and wife teams, both as friends, either both posting the same stuff or one always posts while the other one rarely does. Choose one. Delete the other. It's ok... they will both still like being your IN REAL LIFE friend (probably).
FB doesn't make deleting bunches of people easy either. You actually have to find each person one by one and delete them. You can do this via the News Feed when they randomly come up, but if you are going to be serious about doing a purge of over a hundred people, let me make a suggestion. Make a new list of friends called something like "delete." Then you can add friends into that list super quickly. From there you can look at your "delete" news feed only and then delete people from there a little faster. Give yourself some time to get this accomplished. To delete my 162 people, it took me more than 30 minutes to make the list and delete them at a pretty good clip. Once you've got your list cut in half, try going through your newly cleaned up friends list again and put another 1/3 of your remaining friends in the "delete" list for consideration for a few weeks. You might be surprised at how your attitude changes as you get the delete snowball rolling. People who made the cut the first round, might seem like legitimate candidates for getting cut the second time around.
Since the big purge during my week of preparation, I have come to find out about "Hiding" a person from your news feed. This feature hides that person's posts without the social stigma of you unfriending them and they will never know they are hidden from your news feed. It allows you to honestly say, "No, I didn't see that picture you posted," because we all acknowledge, though we may not understand, that dynamic of FB- Once you get over 100 friends or so, you simply don't get every post from everyone. The hidden FB gremlins do some new math and try to predict whose posts you want to see instead of giving it all to you. I considered doing this for the 60 or so folks who are in my "second cut" consideration list. After thinking on this for about two weeks, I think I have formed my opinion about "Hiding" people. To me, I find this "Hiding" as a case of "Let your yes be yes and your no be no," (Matt 5:36-37) and a matter of honesty. I don't really understand the whole, "I would rather tell a small white lie to someone, than hurt their feelings" attitude, especially over something as trivial as FB. I would rather be able to confidently say that I am starting to reserve FB for my closest friends and family. Most people seem to be okay with this and it isn't as big of a deal as you might think. And you know what... now those people that I unfriended and I have something to talk about over coffee or dinner and make it a priority to catch up with one another. And that's not "Unfriendly" at all. ;-)
Serving through love and laughter is a great way to live.