Just as I don’t actually have meaningful relationships or friendships with my 700+ “friends” on Facebook, I also don’t need to feel obliged to give equal value to each of their postings, nor to I need to seek their approval of my own.
One’s time and capacity of attention are short, and in regards to Twitter, the fact that I have been “followed” does not necessarily mean that I owe them my subscription to their own activity. It’s more valuable to allow those into one’s feed that engender genuine interest.
There are innumerable quality blogs and web publications, but I won’t become an ill-informed dolt if I don’t keep track of every passing post from each outlet.
Think of the emails you don’t want, even if from organizations or companies you feel a passion for. Surely you don’t need reminding of your allegiance to them several times a week. It’s okay not to want any more emails from the champions of your favorite cause.
My word to live by going into 2012 is “unsubscribe.”
I don’t mean shutting one’s eyes and ears. In a media and cultural environment with an avalanche of content and interaction, I’m talking about being selective about what I spend my time and attention on.
I’m going to pare down social networks to those with whom I actually want to network socially. I’m going to whittle down my RSS reader to those posts I will actually want to regularly read. I’m going to get off email lists in general, as I never read anything that wasn’t written to me specifically. I’m going to worry less about cultivating an audience by way of pretending to have relationships I in fact do not.
I hope it leaves me more space. I hope it leaves me less stressed. I hope it leaves me a little wiser.
Of course, I hope you don’t unsubscribe from this blog. But if you do, you know, I won’t like it, but I dig.