Tiny houses, limited clothing in your closet, traveling the globe full-time, and giving away as much as you can. These are the things you hear the most often about Minimalism. And while these are types of minimalist lifestyles it doesn’t have to be your lifestyle. The Minimalist’s book Everything That Remains lets you see into the lives of 2 new minimalists and their take on letting go and not having so much crap.
While I’ve read the book twice and watched the movie at least 4 times, I still am learning about simplifying my life and letting go. I started with my closet (which amazingly, allows me to have more to wear, however that math works) and proceded to find things throughout my house to let go of. I now ask the question “Does this bring value to my life” before making most purchases or bringing anything into my home. What I didn’t think about minimalizing until way after being influenced by this movement was social media.
“Let me start by saying I don’t really love social media in general. I see how much time it drains and how I start comparing myself to others”
Let me start by saying I don’t really love social media in general. I see how much time it drains and how I start comparing myself to others and proceeding to feel inadequate (an emotion I am all too used to). What makes this even worst is, my day job for the last few years has been a marketing manager/coordinator. This means that social media is my full-time job. I’m on it all the time whether I want to be or not. While I see the benefits of it – keeping in touch with friend and family, learning new information, being inspired etc. I see a lot more cons than I do pros and I can’t get away from it.
I listened to a podcast about simplifying your social media. Not that you have to spend fewer hours on it (which I still totally suggest doing) but that you find the things that bring value to your life and don’t make you feel like shit. pretty easy concept right? So I went through all my social channels and started unfollowing everyone, and I mean everyone. I got everything down to 0 and started from the beginning. Now when I follow someone on any social network I ask the question “Does this bring value to my life?” If it does, I click follow, if it doesn’t I leave it behind.
The things that made me compare myself, feel bad about myself or made me lose hope in the world were all things that didn’t bring value to my life. The content that inspired me or educated me or made me laugh did bring value to my life. By limiting what I follow, I limit what I allow into my life. Better yet, I limit the amount of stuff on my feeds and therefore am forced to limit my time on social media. With fewer people to follow, there is less new content, meaning that logging on to Facebook once a day is really all you need.
“Does this bring value to my life?”
When it came to Facebook I didn’t unfriend anyone, there are people I might want reach out to later or check up on. But I unfollowed everyone. I don’t need to hear everyone’s political stance or see 6 million photos of their baby or dogs. My immediate family and best of friends I keep following because that’s important to me. I have a few friends who post the funniest things on Facebook and always have me laughing, they bring value to my life.
Here’s why this is all so important. In letting go of social media, in creating more simplicity in your life it gives you the time to accomplish the things you want to do most. Instead of watching what others are creating and hoping that you’ll get inspired you are forced to walk away from your gadgets get outside, do some yoga or go for a run, drink some tea/coffee and allow yourself to get some real inspiration. By limiting your consumption and stopping the comparison game you are able to actually start creating. These things that were created to make our lives easier are often the things that are getting in our way. Go back to basics, keep only the things that add value and simplify your life.
What I think brings value to my life and what you think brings value to yours will be completely different. Maybe you don’t follow your family on Facebook or maybe you think that following 10,000 people on Instagram brings value to your life. That’s totally okay. What I like about minimalism is the fact that it is different for every single person who embraces it. The idea is to simplify your life, removing stress, opening up time and opportunity and giving you the chance to live the life you want to live. For me, minimalizing social media has been a very healthy step in the right direction for me. Now if I could just simplify Netflix.