our study, march 2012
A while ago I wrote about culling blogs from my reader list (and loved your comments). I continue on with Project: Unsubscribe by asking the same questions as I did in that post. I now follow only 21 blogs including 4 that are on probation. That is a huge reduction from the 85 in total I had in November last year. And dramatically different from well over 100 that I read when I first got into blogs. I see the great leaps I’ve made and pat myself on the back.
I have taken the mind declutter project with more conscious vengeance to my email and twitter accounts. Those few fashion stores I was subscribed to – unsubscribed. While it is one of the very few ways I expose myself to advertising, I was telling myself that by being on the mailing list I could catch the specials and save money. But it also meant that several times a week my email was blasting out to me “YOUR WARDROBE IS NOT TRENDY ENOUGH AND SOMETHING IS MISSING!”. I am perfectly capable of ascertaining what is truly needed or desired without those emails. Blogs that just added mind clutter or lacked authenticity – gone. Twitter feeds that are negative or mean – bye bye. I’m still subscribed to lists regarding events, exhibitions and new restaurants as these are things we value.
The feelings I’ve gone through during Project: Unsubscribe are fascinating and a little embarrassing to admit. All of a sudden it became much much quieter in the email inbox. Sometimes I wanted to tap the computer and ask “is this thing working?”. There was the feeling of being detached from everything that is happening. Lonely. Unimportant. Oops I remember – some of them just wanted my money anyway. That’s not being important. That’s being a market segment.
There is honest and very analytical thinking before I press Subscribe instead and I have become much more critical over the years. Each time I’ve fought back against the cycle of advertising and constant connection and happenings, it gets easier.
Weeks went by and I began to relish the calmer inbox and feed. There are less items to delete, less stuff to process in my mind, no annoyances at fake people, fewer negative words to read, no harassment to fend off, less wasted energy for no return and more clarity for my own thoughts. One day I found myself literally smiling as I sat down at the study desk. I realised something… when that number flashes up to indicate I have mail I now know that the chances are very high that it is a real person emailing me. Someone who loves me, someone who wants to organise a get-together, share a recipe, share thoughts on my blog or present to me an opportunity.
With all the noise filtered out that number stands out brightly as a beacon of my value to others and their value to me. That number makes me happy.