July 2011
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Too Much Noise

I know way too many people.

Between family, friends, colleagues, Zumba, acquaintances and everyone else in the spectrum I’ve been spread thin. Ha ha, yes, thin. You can make weight-loss jokes. I’ll wait until you’re done.

Recently Lia Hollander of the A.R. & Proud blog wrote about deleting both her Twitter and Facebook accounts. We talked about it more in person at the Vancouver chapter of the Beer & Blog meetup group. Don’t panic, I’m not withdrawing from social media, but I have been thinking a lot about who gets onto my calendar when I’m home.

The demo video for Google+ talks about putting people in circles. Folks have gotten pretty creative with these, but it made me think about how many different people I know and how randomly I seem to spend my time with them. If you ask me to do something my default answer is usually “yes” unless I have a work commitment. Being agreeable is a positive trait, right?

It is, until it isn’t.

I’ll being going through old email or Facebook messages (don’t ask me why) and I’ll realize “oh crap, I haven’t seen or pinged soandso in over a month!” I’ll shoot them a message with my standard sorry-been-busy disclaimer and ask them when they’re available for some hang time. Then I’ll get distracted by something shiny again—SQUIRREL—and it’s back to the routine of people-pleasing. Problem identified. Now, what to do about it?

I could make a short list of people and keep their phone numbers handy and make play dates like a normal person. But why build the social network in the first place? Was it validation? I feel pretty validated by my close friends already and with the way that Facebook manages “often touched” friends your news feeds, 1350 of my 1405 friends (as of this writing) don’t even see my updates. Even as I sit here writing this post, I have no idea.

The last few weeks of my life have been turbulent. More on that later, but I loved Kayla Marie‘s post about how “[cancer] has distilled things” for her. When I needed a short list of folks to talk to about what I was going through (and they all came through for me) I realized just how many of them I hadn’t made time for recently.

My good friends have been pretty patient, gracious even, about my ignoring them. It’s time for me to start spending quality time with a short list of people while everyone else bears with me for a minute. I’m not going to ignore you, and most of you won’t even notice a difference—I’m addicted to Facebook updates, I’ll admit—but for a while I need to reign things in a bit.

Who haven’t you talked to in a while? Give them a call, huh?

2 comments to Too Much Noise

  • Time with friends is wonderful, but time alone is peaceful and rejuvenating. Yes, the uncomfortable stuff we try to avoid, by surrounding ourselves with others, will come up. But that’s the only way it will. We must deal with it or it will continue to fester below the surface tainting everything else.

  • [...] last few weeks have consisted of a virtual reshuffling of the deck for me. As I go through some personal things, my friends have been there to offer advice, and while [...]

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