The Year for a Connection Cleanse

Ah… clean.

The year is 2008. Facebook has just become widespread and it’s time to find everyone you know on it and add them as a friend. That satisfying button that makes you feel social, connected and warm inside. You furiously search and find everyone you know. You go through their friends lists to find more, and you’re constantly given and giving suggestions. It’s a rush. Finally, you have all your friends in one place.

And this includes all sorts of people.

The old high school crush.

Your primary school bully.

That teacher that inspired you.

That person you met once at that party.

That girl you thought you had a shot with.

That friend’s friend who came to beers and wings one night.

But now it’s 2016. For years now Facebook, Twitter, Linked In…all of them, have been showing you what your friends liked. What they have clicked on. What they have shared. It’s understandable… these networks want you to interact with your friends — why wouldn’t you — you added them in the first place, right? Your feed is FULL of this stuff. Stuff you don’t even agree with, care about or find just depressing. “Hard day at the factory” said a high school acquaintance, as a he posted a picture of a cigarette and cheap beer.

We all got caught up in the friendsie (ha) of making connections that we didn’t really stop to think…

Do I actually have things in common with this person?

Do I agree with their views? Do they challenge me or just plain anger me?

Are they the people I want to surround myself with?

Will keeping up with their updates make me happy?

Will they inspire me, challenge me and make me a better person?

Do they offer value to me as their follower?

To my point: 2016 will be the year of connection cleansing — a time where you’ll probably go through your various social networks and unfollow/unlike/unfriend anyone who doesn’t really add anything to your life. This sounds selfish, but who cares — it’s your feed! You can do what you like. It doesn’t even necessarily mean you don’t have to stop seeing them in real life!

So next time Facebook feels the need to send a push notification(?!) to tell you, “It’s Bob Smith’s birthday today, let him know you’re thinking about him”, think, “Have I spoken to this person in the last year?”. If they answer is “no”, go ahead and hit delete. Bob’s probably having a great day. He won’t notice.

By 2017, your connections will be cleansed. You’ll have a clean and fresh feed full of curated connections, offering you value, friendship, humour and new, challenging ideas. I hope you’re looking forward to it! Good luck.

If you liked this, one person you should totally add to your twitter feed is me, I’m @samjarman.

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