I have always loved the online communities and have been using facebook and myspace as well as others for years now. I love feeling connected and being able to get in touch with long lost friends from the past. I enjoy knowing what my friends are doing, reading their little updates of funny things their kids are doing, following their lives and travels and looking through their photos.
However, I am starting to wonder if these sites are more stressful than good. It's easy to see when I am left out of things. It is easy to see when friends are getting together and no one bothered to get in touch with me. I am seeing where I stand in a lot of people's lives that I called friends... and I am finding it is pretty low on the totem pole.
I guess in one way it is a nice reality check... however it is also hurtful and a bit depressing. So I am downsizing... removing people that I no longer want to follow. I figure it's the same thing as being removed from someone's Christmas card list. :)
There are two things in Joyce Meyer's book 100 Ways To Simplify Your Life that come to mind in this situation for me.... They are:
1. Don't try to change what you cannot change.
2. Change what you can change.
Meyer says "Trying to do what you can't only produces frustration and feelings of failure. We must learn what we can do and what we aren't able to do."
She also says "Regurlarly making necessary changes will help keep life simple. As you prune (cut) things off that need to go, you de-clutter your life and make room for the fresh and new."
I cannot change other people. I cannot make them like me, want to be my friend, and include me. But I can change the degree of access they have to my life. I can change how much I know about what they are up to without me. I believe by doing this I will eliminate some stress from my life and feelings of hurt. Not always knowing what some people are doing will be freeing.
(PS.... I know this all seems a little contradictory since my blog is open to the public.... but I have no idea if they even read the blog. And if they do that's ok. What is most freeing is not seeing all their updates of all the things they are leaving me out of.)