Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Decluttering social media

I looked at the calendar recently and realized CTB&Me is just a few weeks from entering the fifteenth year as a blog.  Yikes!  On one hand, it seems like there is no way it has been that long.  On the other, I was still in homeschooling mode and now my homeschooler is a college graduate, husband, and father of two of the cutest kids.

Although I do still talk about books a lot and occasionally mention my afternoon tea, I have this nagging feeling that coffee is about to sue for false advertisement.  I haven't been to a favorite coffee shop in ages.  However, I will remind coffee that it is still my first and most important thought each morning.  Not very spiritual, I know... but it is the truth.

Sometimes new readers are surprised when I talk about being a Christian in today's culture.  The core group of wonderful people who read this blog (who are amazing), may remember that I have said I cover everything else that is written with the "and Me" part of the title.

Currently, I am thinking a lot about how one stays on course in the hurricane force winds of adversity and change.  As with Lot, my soul seems to be constantly vexed.  I have been asking for God's wisdom in trying to stay atune to what is going on in the culture and not becoming Amish.  Although it is tempting.  Except I do like electricity.  

Even when we try to keep our thoughts toward God each day, there are multiple distractions vying for our time and attention.  One of the things I have been doing this year is to declutter my home and that has been largely successful.  Except the garage but we only recently had the overhead light fixed.  I can use that excuse for awhile.

One of the places that brought the most "vexing" is the Facebook app.  I gave some serious thoughts to getting rid of the Facebook and Instagram apps but both still offer too many opportunities to enjoy friends and family.  Instead, I became serious about eliminating all the excess "Likes" accumulated over the years.

I started with Facebook and brought up everything I follow.  As I was watching TV off and on, I went through and Unliked and Unfollowed about half of them.  Just as when I decluttered the house, it was now down to those I do like but do not absolutely love... or in the case of Facebook, need to have popping up in my feed every five minutes.

Next I brought up everyone I follow on Instagram and Unfollowed people and organizations that are no longer part of my everyday world.  Should I realize I miss following a person, organization, etc., it isn't difficult to follow again.  Life changes and we tend to keep following people and places who were in our life years ago and not so much today.

The easiest part of decluttering a house is when you get rid of things you no longer need.  It gets harder when there must be more decluttering and now you must choose those items you like but do not love.  Those items such as teacups you know a friend would prefer, books you know you will never read and your kids don't want, that extra set of dishes you haven't used in ten years, etc.

Decluttering our social media is no less difficult.  It was easy to go through and click Unfollow or Unlike (although I really do not dislike them!) the first time.  It was harder on the second go around.  For instance, there are some news sources I have followed for years but I already receive email alerts from one of them so I don't need anymore on social media.

I stopped following a few people I haven't communicated with in years, some authors whose books I no longer review or read, cooking blog updates, even some Christian leaders (gasp).  I absolutely need quality over quantity right now and my brain is not set up for as much input as it receives each day.

Oh, by the way, I have stayed completely away from Twitter!  

It has only been a few days since I streamlined and started decluttering Facebook and Instagram but I'm liking it better already.  One thing I do with Facebook is I peruse it on the main setting and see what pops up and then go to the "Most Recent" setting after that to quickly view the ummm... most recent.

There are so many things happening today which are out of our hands that we must... or at least I must... do what is within our ability to bring peace to our days without a constant assault of the anger that permeates the culture.  So far decluttering social media has helped.

Image:  It doesn't get more peaceful than this scene of my neighbor's barn in Winter.


Deanna Rabe said...

That’s a good idea. I’ve added subjects I’m following on Instagram so going through and decluttering those I don’t interact with would be good. FB too.

Vee said...

How interesting! I, too, have cleaned up my instagram account. I am going to delete my account just as soon as I finish getting my pictures downloaded. FB got the boot years ago when certain family members insisted on making fools of themselves. Their dad couldn't take it. I can't bring myself to clean up my blog roll. A half dozen of those dear bloggers have gone to Glory. Sigh. I don't participate in Twitter, but I absolutely have an account since someone I am keeping an eye on does. Thank the Lord for that as he doesn't get good coverage elsewhere. I believe in going to the source.

Warm congratulations on all these years of blogging—for such a time as this. It has been a pleasure reading here.

Carol in Texas said...

Your comment....."my brain is not set up for as much input as it receives each day" is perfect! Amen!

Anonymous said...

That is truly a peaceful scene - soothing, and much needed these days!! I have had to "unfollow" family members because of the weariness brought on by their constant strong opinions/political rants. If only we could keep FB posts to family pictures/happenings. /-: Btw, I was trying to follow your Instagram page, but it said it was removed??? What is the address? There are a few that are close to your name, but I can't seem to find your page any longer. )-:

Anonymous said...

Also ... I want to add that I really love your blog and am so glad that you decided to continue - especially now in these unsettling times. Yours (and others like Sally Clarkson's) are the places I go to for encouragement these days because you continually point us back to the God who is in control of what appears to be utter chaos! Fifteen years is a long time to invest in something, but you have ministered to many people through your efforts. Thank you!

Margie from Toronto said...

I've actually been doing he same thing. I haven't been on Facebook in years and often forget that I have a Twitter account (a friend insisted on setting it up for me but I rarely bother). I am now going through all the blogs that I follow and whittle things down a bit and checking all my bookmarks. I'm also going through my email alerts and have unsubscribed from many of them. It's a good idea to do this on a regular basis.

Melissa said...

For a lot of those years when I started reading your Blog it was so nice to follow a fellow "midwesterner" when we moved to PA 14 years ago!
I follow very few people, because I don't want all of their posts/pictures messing up my feed! I do have a list of people I regularly look at occasionally so that I keep up with them on my own time. Right, I'm not on Twitter either, I was reading one author that I really enjoy, but then on Twitter, she's a totally different person! How can that be? Oh well...
Thanks so much for sharing and reminding us "who to let inside our house".

Kay said...

I've never had an instagram account. I think I have a twitter but don't tweet or read them.
Facebook is daily, but mostly for family and church friends and a few groups that I get good info from for my InstaPot and Air Fryer and quilting. I have friends that are of a opposite political view and when they post something I don't agree on, I just scroll on by.

I'm picky about the blogs I read, as these are my relaxation. I have some podcasts I listen to, but mostly cooking so not too offensive.

Farmer and I have decided the only news we are going to watch is local and the weather. I have no desire to hear all the blathering on about other issues. If I need to hear about something, I'm sure I will.

Happy Sunday!