Monday, 5 December 2016

Midlife Monday ~ Clearing My Head from Clutter

 when social media has become a monster - regaining control before it consumes me

OVERWHELMED

I've been feeling a bit out of sorts lately. I thought it was because Christmas was looming with all its inherent potholes that I can so easily fall into. But I realized it wasn't Christmas that was stressing me, it was being caused by the bombardment of social media. Blogging is a wonderful pastime, but it also clogs up my social media, fills my personal Facebook newsfeed with posts from people I have no idea about, and things I have no interest in - not to mention my email inbox was getting out of control. How did this happen??


MINIMALISM GONE AWRY

I'm basically a minimalist - Neat and Tidy are my middle names. I don't have an inbox with hundreds of emails in it, I have maybe a dozen or so that are current and the rest are in folders or trashed. I hate sifting through mountains of incomings to find something that I actually consider important.

The same goes with my Facebook page. Facebook to me is a way of connecting into the lives of my children and my family and friends. It keeps me updated on what they're doing, who's getting married, who has a new baby, who is travelling, and all sorts of other trivia that is part of friendship and relationship.

WHAT HAPPENED?

When I started my blog, I kept Facebook completely separate, because my friends and family weren't aware I was writing about my life on the internet. THEN I was convinced by popular opinion that you couldn't have a blog and not have a Facebook page for it! (Which is absolutely and unquestionably true by the way - if you don't have one then you should.) As for me...it was all well and good, I started a Cresting The Hill Facebook page, followed some other pages, liked and was liked back. THEN it snowballed because you can't like with your blog FB page because the FB gods don't favour it, oh no! You have to like and do all your interactions with your personal FB page.

Before I knew it, I had dozens, and dozens, and dozens of random new friends, updates all over my newsfeed that had nothing to do with my daily life, my family were asking me why I was liking baby food and nappy posts, and the messiness just grew like Topsy. I ended up with 50 or 60 people who I didn't know on my friends page and way too many pages that I'd liked but had no interest in - HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??

Minimalism is the pursuit of the essence of things, not the appearance. Claudio Silvestrin

WHAT TO DO NEXT?

I am so relieved that I didn't go down the Rabbit Hole of Twitter or Instagram - the thought of it almost brings me out in hives! Instead I have StumbleUpon, FlipBoard, G+, Pinterest, and the list goes on - mostly manageable and pretty much under control (well, except Pinterest - but that's a whole different cyber hoarding story right there!)

So what does a minimalist - who was a minimalist before it became fashionable - do when things have gotten completely out of control? Yes....she culls, and culls big time. I've started with all the Facebook groups that I belonged to and never contributed to, I followed up with all the random friends I had that should have been following my Blog FB page and not my personal one. And I've tidied up my subscribing and brought it into line.

AND INTO 2017?

Who knows what will be next - maybe this blog has run its course and I don't have the strength of purpose to sustain it every week. Maybe nobody will find me on social media and I'll fade into the ether. Maybe it's just end-of-year-itis and I'll look at it all again in 2017 with fresh eyes, but in the meantime, all that culling has cleared my head and made me feel a little bit more in control of things again. I'm really sorry if I culled you (although you probably haven't noticed!) Please feel free to follow my Blog FB page (there's a link at the bottom of the post) and I will be most grateful - but please spare both of us from having to look at each other's baby photos when we have no idea who these people are! My Christmas wish is to only see personal stuff on my personal page and blog stuff on my blog page - I hope that's not too much to ask..... Ahhh I feel better already 💖

when social media has become a monster - regaining control before it consumes me

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Midlife Monday - www.crestingthehill.com.au

46 comments:

  1. Oh yes! I can totally understand you feeling overwhelmed with Facebook. My page too has got way out of hand, but I don't know where to start to get rid of annoying posts. I love all my fellow bloggers and reading their posts but don't necessarily want to see their personal stuff. So what do you do? As for emails, I recently had my main email account hacked so I am deleting it and starting afresh. Best thing I have ever done!

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    1. It's a dilemma isn't it Kathy? Trying to keep blogging and personal stuff separate, trying to keep all the "stuff" that comes with it under control and yet not missing any of the interesting stuff. I haven't figured it all out yet but culling has been a good start.

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  2. Yes, I know this overwhelm, too. The feeling like I can't keep up. Last year, I took a break at the end of the year. I didn't post anything from Christmas Eve until the first Monday of the new year. It helped and I was able to start the new year off on better "footing."

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    1. I'm taking the week off between Christmas and New Year too Jennifer - I don't want to even think about social media and keeping up with everything while I'm juggling all the Christmas palaver!

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  3. I've periodically done housecleaning on Facebook and have stayed away from other forms of social media because, darn, just one more place to say the same thing. But Pinterest..... Oy Vey.

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    1. Oh Beth - I soooo hear you about Pinterest - I love it with a passion!

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  4. Oh boy Leanne, you hit the nail on the head. I spend more time on FB then I do on anything else. It is a time sucker for sure. I also have friends that I have no idea who they are. In fact one time accepted a friend request from someone who was friends with another blogger friend and I thought okay.... Well it turned out to be an overly friendly male with a generic first name. Haha! Nothing to do with blogging whatsoever. You can bet I learned my lesson. Leanne rest up and regroup after the new year. I think we are all burned out!

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    1. Mary - I'm taking the last week of December as a break from everything - just to recharge and refresh. I have friended people on fb who knew other bloggers too - now I'm just reducing it down to people I actually interact with - it's reduced my newsfeed substantially!

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  5. Makes a lot of sense. Good luck with your culling!

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    1. Thanks Shari - it was hard to start, but once I got going I was on a roll!

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  6. Oh. I. Relate. To. This. 2017 will be FILLLLLLED with change in this arena for me as well.

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    1. I just had to do it Carla - I don't understand why people who don't know me from a bar of soap, would want to be my friend on fb. I guess it's how you use it and how full on your social media is - mine is going to be cut down to the bare necessities for 2017.

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  7. I feel your pain, Leanne. It happens to many of us. Some want to friend us in order to know us a little better. The person behind the blog. Others want to friend to build of their number of friends. Does that really matter? I'm very cautious of who I friend on FB now. Like you, I've been cleaning the "never chatted with" and the "never contributed to". I think it's essential we streamline our online life for US, not the rest. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Bren - you totally 'get' what I am trying to do. I think we all see social media differently and what works for one person doesn't work for someone else - I still work 3 days a week and I can't let all these things get out of control or I'd just slowly drown.

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  8. I just finished unfriending a ton of people on facebook and I hope I didn't offend anyone by doing it. I must have had hundreds of people as friends that are really bloggers I have bumped into in cyber land. I was getting daily notices for birthdays for people and I couldn't remember who the heck they were. I was missing important stuff so I had to cut. I love my feed now and I know exactly how you feel.

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    1. I'm so glad you see it too Elena - I want to be friends with everyone, but it blows the whole thing out the window. I kept unfollowing people, but then I thought - why do I do this at all? I have a page for my blog and if they want to keep up with what's happening then jump on board there and lets do this blogging thing together.

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  9. Totally understand. It can be overwhelming all these people. IRL would I even recognize them or enjoy talking with them? Sometimes when I am walking through a busy airport I wonder if anyone I see is someone I know on FB?

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    1. Exactly Haralee! I love that I've met so many people through blogging and I love reading their stuff, but I don't need to know that it's their nephew's birthday. I feel a lot tidier now I've done my fb and email housekeeping.

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  10. I've been doing the same things. I get overwhelmed so easily and find my email something that I had been avoiding. I finally took the bull by the horns so to speak and started unsubscribing. Facebook groups are next in line!

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    1. It's crazy how we end up with so many things that we thought were important at the time, but they've run their course and it's time to let go. I love having less friends (never thought I'd hear myself say that!)

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  11. Hi Leanne! I love your blog. I tagged you for Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award and I posted a link to your blog http://appreciatebeautyeveryday.blogspot.com/2016/12/thank-you-barbara-fisher.html
    See my blog for details here.

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    1. Thanks so much Colleen - I did the sisterhood thing a while back and loved it then. It was really interesting reading all your answers - it's a great way to get to know other bloggers.

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  12. I hear ya Leanne. However, I have many people who prefer to go to my personal page for support....and others that prefer my facebook page. So, I am going to noodle on this idea of yours! In the meantime, keep doing what you do. I love your blogs.

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    1. Thanks Ellen - I think social media works in different ways for different people. The secret is to do what works for you and not what you think you should be doing. What works for me is a lean, clean fb and email :)

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  13. I have found it easy to unfollow both people and pages if need be. That way your feed can look exactly how you want it to look.

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    1. I had been doing that too Helene - but after a while I realized there were dozens that I'd unfollowed and it all seemed a bit pointless, so I've made my personal page about my family and friends, and my blog page for my blogging friends - that works best for me and means I don't miss out on stuff because I've unfollowed someone.

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  14. I completely relate to this post. I too had my FB page reserved for family and close friends. After BAM, I received oodles of friend request. The next thing I knew, I opened a So What to Twenty FB page, etc. It can be daunting. Now I intentionally step away from devices. I learned the world won't stop spinning if I don't post to social media.

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    1. I'm just working out how to compartmentalize things more Glenda - personal friends on my personal page and blogging friends on my blog page - it makes more sense to my orderly mind that way!

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  15. I could use some of your minimalist thinking. I tend to over-do everything, including social media.
    Carol

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    1. I'm still trying to figure out the balance Carol but I'm getting more considered in how I do things on social media - and damn the torpedoes!

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  16. My word for 2017 is Simplify and I've taken a leaf out of your book Leanne and started culling on social media. I had 'friends' on FB who I had never heard of!!! Looking forward to another year of friendship through blogging in 2017.

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    1. I think Simplify is perfect for your 2017 word Sue and I'm glad you're taking FB on as a challenge. Friends should be actual friends IMHO so I hope you keep me :)

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  17. Sometimes social media overwhelms me, too. One of my January plans (post holiday madness) is to really streamline what I'm doing with my blog and social accounts. I need a better way.

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    1. I like the "streamline" approach Rachel - it's about doing things in a way that balances and works for your particular way of interacting - not doing stuff that isn't "you"

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  18. I occasionally unfollow people that don't follow me but I love the random craziness and chaos of everyone's babies and pets on my FB pages. It never bothers me to simply scroll past what I'm not interested in. I guess that means I'm not a minimalist and my nicknames Lois Lane (because I'm interested in everyone and everything) and Chaos, well because my life is, fit.

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    1. You sound so much more relaxed than I am Doreen - and that's why it's really all about doing what works best for you as an individual. I was tired of doing what I thought I "should be doing" and now I'm focusing on what works best for me and my little OCD brain :)

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  19. Ahhh... I need to follow your lead and get out of the BUNCHES of Facebook groups I belong to but never even visit much less contribute to. Smart idea! I'm off to unsubscribe, er, leave groups. Cheers!

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    1. I'm glad you're tidying up too Lisa - it's not about losing anything that's important, it's about clearing out the old to make way for what's valuable and adds to our lives.

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  20. Oh Leanne! I am so in the same boat - a personal FB page filled with all kinds of stuff that I really don't care about and I'm missing posts from people I DO care about. I'm going to follow your example and do some major culling!

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    1. Welcome to the Culling Club Cathy! I'm so tired of FB skipping stuff I'm interested in and giving me stuff from people I barely know - now I'm getting down to grass roots and having my personal stuff back again - and loving it!

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  21. The election made it easy for me to get rid of some "friends." Every time I reinvented myself I friended a bunch of people I don't really know. Some are interesting and I enjoy their feeds. Some I never see or they never post. When it all comes down to it as far as blogging goes, you should be on whatever serves your audience the best and get rid of the rest.

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    1. Exactly Rebecca! We all do the blogging thing differently and social media works for us in different ways. For me it's about keeping my blog and my personal page separate and I needed to move things around. Why be my friend as a blogger but not 'like' my blog FB page? I just don't get it!

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  22. I need to start culling too. Like Rebecca, I definitely cleaned out my FB "friends" this election season. Now, I really need to start leaving groups and unsubscribing from the junk mail that's clogging up my inbox.

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    1. It's been quite refreshing Lois - I imagine you would have a LOT more going on (esp in email!) than me, but when it gets out of control then I guess it's time to reel it back in to what feels right again.

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  23. Facebook is nuts with their rules. There isn't a day that goes by I don't think about that. So is the "comment as" on the bottom of some of our blogs.

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    1. I don't know why they think personal likes are better than page likes Brenda but it sucks (IMHO) because I want my FB blog page to be where I interact from for blogging stuff and leave my family and friends in peace!

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