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Friday, February 11, 2011

Cleaning Out On-line Clutter

I recently decided to do some 'declutterring,' which I have written about in a couple of previous blog posts. This time, my cleaning was done not in the house, but on-line. I needed to rid my life of things that were much more negative than positive.

First, I cleaned out my account on a forum of golden retriever lovers. Unfortunately, I was unable to delete the account completely, but it is devoid of any information or photographs. I had been a member of this on-line forum for more than 3 years, but recent developments made me realize that participating in the forum was bringing me much more negativity than positive feelings. Add to that the fact that various moderators were, in my opinion, being very heavy-handed, and I knew it was time to leave. I deleted everything I could: information about me, my avatar picture, special signature lines and pictures, list of friends, contact information, etc. I also canceled my automatic annual payment to  help support the group. Although I have taken breaks from this group in the past, this time it's permanent.

Then I turned to my Facebook account. I didn't 'de-friend' anyone, but I did drop organizations and businesses from my list of 'likes' to stop receiving wall posts from them. Some were just too negative and disturbing, with too many stories about abused dogs, dogs under threat of euthanasia, etc. Others I just don't care enough about to want to keep up to date with what they are doing.

I went to my Twitter account and deleted several sites I had been following. I'm not an active user of Twitter, so I have no need for so many 'tweets' that just go unread.

The final act was to try to remove the Facebook page I created for my hoped-for photography business. I've never been good at self-promotion, so there is no point in keeping that page active. I haven't yet figured out how to delete that page without deleting my entire account, but it is now marked "Closed due to lack of interest," and all wall posts and images have been deleted. I also deleted everything from the page I had set up with my best photographs.

Interestingly, I didn't get the sense of satisfaction from decluttering my electronic life as I do when I declutter the house. Maybe that's because I can't see the results of my efforts. But I suspect that over time, I will feel the results of removing sources of negativity and frustration from my life.