A late-night comedian/talk show host named Jimmy Kimmel declared November 17, 2010 to be “National Unfriend Day…” which is “…a new holiday he hopes will inspire Facebook users to unfriend the social networking contacts that aren’t real friends.”
While I do not support this man, or his show, I was impressed by the idea behind his newly-created holiday. I have been struggling with Facebook so much recently. There are many nuances to Facebook relationships that really irk me…from “friends” criticizing my parenting choices to other “friends” posting drunk status updates, dirty jokes, and foul language. “To friend or unfriend? That is the question!” Do I unfriend and risk the whole “have I offended you?” conversation which has often in the past led to misunderstandings…or just stay “friends” and ignore or hide their posts? Or the “friends” who I barely know, or never talk to, or really don’t consider to be true friends, but every time I “unfriend” them they re-request me, and I feel guilted into re-accepting just so their feelings don’t get hurt? Many times I have wished I could simply delete my account and be done with it all. While it is tempting, there are many of my true and close friends on there whom I would lose complete contact with if I were to make such a decision. Facebook is also my main medium to stay in contact with my immediate family and share pictures/videos and details of our daily life with them.
At the same time as I heard about “National Unfriend Day,” I was beginning to reevaluate many areas of my life where I see emotional and physical “clutter.” There are things I do that are time-wasters (Facebook being one of them). Other things are good but difficult to keep up with due to the demands of parenting, or things I am struggling to find true meaning in. There are moments where I am asking myself what is truly important in my life. Looking down at my son, now I see that so much of what was filling my time and my life didn’t really matter any more.
All of this has led me to a few decisions:
1) I have scaled back my Facebook page and limited my friends list to include only close friends and relatives. While I am sure that there have been many people who don’t understand why I “unfriended” them, or feel that I was being rude or mean, I am trying not to worry about all of that. I had to do what was best for me and my family.
2) I have stepped back from my volunteer positions with Christian Military Wives and FRG. I’ll still be doing a few minor things here and there for both organizations, but for the most part I will be freed up from working with them.
It has been rather refreshing to only have to spend 15-20 minutes in the morning catching up with friends and family instead of an hour or two spent wading through posts from people I barely know or who pull me down spiritually. I have been freed up to work on housework, baking, spend time in the Bible, and give Ezra the care and attention that he needs.