Sunday, July 25, 2010

radical unfollowing and unfriending: I love you, but...

Trips tell me to simplify my life. The last (six thousand miles in three weeks, visiting family in Alberta, Minnesota, and Illinois) has said, "This is a lesson you will be learning all your life: Simplify!"

Part of the lesson is a harsh paring of online reading. I'm unfollowing many fine people on Twitter and unfriending far more on LiveJournal. Unfollowing is relatively easy: Twitter never felt personal. Unfriending is hard, partly because of the term, partly because I've had so many LJ conversations over the years.

The oddest thing is feeling sorry about unfriending people I know only as pseudonyms, whose race and age and gender I can't guess, whose names conjure nothing but a warm feeling. Severing those ties is like leaving a town: the people you like casually may never become good friends now, but you still have to go. If you meet those people elsewhere, you'll be glad to see them.

The hardest is unfriending people I love to see in the offline world and whose online life I enjoy. But I need to retreat, so I shall. This break-up line is mocked, but like many mocked lines, it's true: It's not you. It's me.

My main blog, it's all one thing, will continue. I'll keep forwarding it to Facebook, LiveJournal, and Twitter. I hope that by being around less, I'll be around better.