I was meeting one of my best friends from college last weekend. She lives abroad for work but she will come back at least once a year; every time she’s back she will definitely make an effort to see me and It feels like she never left.
During our chat, she asked: “Do you think it’s getting a lot harder to make friends as we grow up?” I laughed and said: “Who doesn’t think like that?”
Her question stuck in my mind that night, and suddenly I came up with another thought.
I opened my Facebook. Slowly and gradually, I deleted 888 friends that night.
Making friends is actually a lot easier than you think.
Let me prove this.
Imagine you met someone interesting at a party and you feel like it would be great if you guys could stay connected after the party. So the next thing you did was get onto Facebook, search the name, move your fingertip to the magic button “Add friends” and JOB DONE!
Just one magic click and you guys are friends now. Just as simple as that.
However, I think this redirected me to a deeper question.
What’s the true meaning of friends?
I tried to find an answer by recalling memories on how I made friends before “The Dawn Of Facebook”.
We approach new people, we talk to them, we share, we build trust and most importantly we make connections, in real life. After experiencing parts of our lives together, we value them as “friends.”
Then I asked myself while looking at my Facebook friend list, “How many of them have gone through that process?”
This is why I decided that I didn’t want to get overwhelmed by life updates from people who I don’t even recall who they are.
On Selecting “Who I want to delete?”
It’s hard at first, I’m not lying. It’s not because my reason isn’t strong enough, but when you have your mouse hovering over the unfriend button, everything seems to come to a final end.
No one likes to say goodbye and clicking that unfriend button makes ending the relationship official.
But ask yourself, “If Facebook didn’t exist, would you like that person to get access to that much information about your life?” and “Do you really want to know what’s happening in their lives or are you just afraid of missing out?”
Deleting Facebook friend is just as simple as that.
I don’t mean “hey-it’s-nice-knowing-you-for-a-while-but-we-barely-talk-and-I-feel-like-I-don’t-need-you-in-my-life-now-so-farewell-old-friend”, but the truth is an online goodbye doesn’t equal removing that person entirely from your real life.
True friends stay connected even without the help of Facebook (or any kinds of social media). And it’s kinda scary that we need a constant reminder on that.
Will They Get Mad? Maybe I think too much.
What if they come and ask me, “Why did you delete me on Facebook?” And yes, that sounds a bit awkward, doesn’t it?
No one likes to be ignored or removed but I think the problem is people take online relationships too seriously.
People might think, “It’s not official until it’s Facebook official!”, but let me remind you of this.
Facebook life is just an Online Life and it doesn’t equal your Actual Life. Why would you spend time on getting social validation instead of having real connections with people you claimed to care about? or at least make an effort to really stay tuned with their lives?
Think about it this way. How can one honestly be offended if you two don’t write on each other’s walls or feel weird to like each other’s photos or status?
Besides, you might be overthinking because they may not even notice. Either they don’t care or they don’t value social validation as much as you do.
But what if they really ask? Then take this as a good sign. This can mean they do care about you but just getting too busy with their lives to catch up. This gives both of you a good chance to reconnect.
So Now I have fewer friends, on Facebook, then what?
Looking at my “friend list”, the number has shrunk by half but my heart feels a lot more fulfilled and satisfying. Scrolling through my feed, it is clean and clear now.
I can finally see some of the updates from my old friends. I noticed that I have missed a lot of their precious moments because I had too many distractions before. So it’s time to catch up with them, both online and offline.
Decluttering unnecessary relationships doesn’t only free me up for more important people in my life but most importantly, I came to realize my mind and life can be so much simpler if I don’t value social media as much as the social standard does.