Simplicity in Action: Nina Yau
Editor’s Note: This is a post in the new series, Simplicity in Action. If you’d like to submit your story of how simplicity has worked in your life, please read more here. You can write about anything from decluttering a junk drawer to simplifying your diet. Let your small and big changes inspire others.
I’ll be honest. Minimizing can be difficult. It’s easy to accumulate but harder to eliminate. Why is this?
I set out on a private social experiment that lasted over a year and is just concluding now. Sometime early 2011, I decided to accept all friend requests on Facebook, regardless of who it was, why, or how the person found me. I wanted to see what would happen. This led my list to incur over 1,200 people over the next eighteen months. But how many of these 1,200 people were actual friends of mine? I know of some people who have several thousand friends so perhaps this number does not seem so outrageous. Also, I understand some people use social media for different purposes. I wanted to go to one extreme and back to the other end, finally concluding in a balanced place where I feel best. Extremes are temporary; balance is sustainable.
A couple of days ago, I spent the day digital cleansing and my first tackle was at Facebook. After deleting nearly 1,000 people off my account, I was left with 25% of what my original number was. The great thing is, now that I scroll through my list of friends, they are actual friends! It is refreshing.
At the end of the day, I can rant and rave about how much I despise Facebook and many other social media tools but this isn’t without the conscious awareness of how I am using these tools. Are they serving me or am I serving them?
Simplicity isn’t just about the physical things in our lives, though that is the most obvious, given if we bump our knee on those extra tables in the corner one too many times, we are forced to reckon with the decision of what to do with the extra tables. Extra digital things, though? A bit more complex. We can’t run into them and be reminded that we are accruing a lot of junk in our digital lives. We must, rather, consciously take action and make smart decisions that will help us, not harm us.
Read more from Nina at Castles in the Air and check out her new beautiful book, Truth.
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