102.

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I currently have 102 Facebook friends. Which to me sounds like quite a lot. It sounds like quite a lot… because these are all people I’ve hung out within the last year.

I’m of the variety of person who attempts to declutter their life at every available opportunity- and I’m afraid that my digital connections are no exception to this.

Every year, I go through my Facebook list- decide if I have any interest at all in someone’s life, assess if I’ve seen them or spoken to them in the last year- and if not? Well, what’s the point of having them on a virtual list of ‘friendships’ that I’m keeping?

Although to a lot of people, the removing of that online connection might seem a little savage, since they’re literally just sitting there as an unbothersome presence… to me, Facebook and social media is the epitome of comparison and doubting yourself.

If you’re scrolling through your newsfeed and you see that girl you used to know from school- great. But when you inspect closer you realise that she’s got an incredible job in London? Yep, now you feel shit.

When you come across a uni pal who you haven’t seen in nearly 3 years- and oh look they’re engaged! They didn’t bother to tell you that because you’re not that good friends… but now you feel like you’re behind on the life bucket list of achievements.

OH LOOK your ex-has popped up with a relationship update. Yay fucking yay.

When I first got Facebook in 2011, it was common practice to try and collect as many friends as possible. (Kinda like a real life Pokemon Go) If you met someone at a party, bumped into them or even just if they were a friend of a friend- add them!! I think at the start of my teenage years, it was actively ‘cool’ to look popular and have a crap ton of Facebook friends.  I remember the day that I got up to 1000 and I was so chuffed. But why??

It’s not popularity if you speak to only 10 of these thousands of connections.

So, after I finished university- I cut the ties.

Yes, it took me bloody ages, but I was bored sick of wishing a stranger ‘Happy Birthday’, scrolling through photos of people I didn’t care about- or being bombarded with everyone else’s best bits.

I deleted the majority of people from school, random people from sports tours, random people from freshers week- and ended up with around 240 people I still cared about.

Now, a few years later- I’m so much more comfortable with the people that I know and love. 102 gorgeous folks, who are all invited to share my little online life with me.

It’s life for connections to fizzle over time- and moving jobs several times has meant that I’ve lost contact with people I used to be really close to.

I keep in contact with my closest friends on Facebook (hence not deleting it all together)- but I have 102 people that I genuinely care about, want to interact with and chat to on the daily.

When we shared our engagement announcement, I had told nearly every single person on my FB friends list before we put the photo up! (Group messages plz, I’m not a maniac)

But, it’s interesting when I tell people about my attitude to Facebook virtual friendships- and social media. A lot of people still have a bunch of randoms on their feeds, and I can’t understand it myself.

Now that I’ve released myself from Snapchat, Twitter, Timehop and most other forms of social media (bar my blog, FB, and my insta) I feel so much more free.

I’m able to share the stuff I’d like, with the people I want to share it with.

I wouldn’t send some random person from school a photo of my house, my kittens or my latest job promotion- so why on Earth would I want them to be able to see that for themselves?

So I guess, peace out, ciao and adios, to the lovely people who I no longer have any online interaction with. It was fun while it lasted!

Rach

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