I like to think of myself as a fence sitting minimalist. At times I have both legs swinging on one side and on the contrary, I am straddling. Whatever the case may be, I have been living an aspect of minimalism for the last three years.
I want to preface this post with true understanding of the topic.
I used to think it was a simple idea. That idea being the less stuff you have the better. I have a nasty habit of being satisfied with a surface level understanding of any one subject and leaving it at that. So for three years, this is how I thought about minimalism.
I have learned through research and application that the true principle of minimalism is surrounding yourself with things of value and disposing of those things which add no value to your life.
Application of minimalism is a personal thing and therefore cannot be lectured. I plan on having numerous posts regarding this topic but I will not be advising or lecturing due to the fact that each person is different and values different things. Even if two people value the same thing, I will be as bold to say that the level of which each values the thing is different.
No two people fit the same pair shoes exactly.
Considering this, I conclude that there is no one way of applying minimalism. If the behavior, habit, or action reflects the principle, then it is minimalism.
One principle, numerous applications.
Now that I have prefaced this topic, I want to share an application I have recently taken up to convert myself more to a minimalist lifestyle.
I have taken the longest road in the social media race. I feel very much behind on social media compared to the majority of my generation. Perhaps I did not want to lose myself to the reflective glare I see on so many faces, or perhaps I have been intimidated by the continues innovation and trend-setting that takes place in the social media world, fearing that I could not keep up.
Whatever the case may be, I have reversed it and am now trying to be more active within the social media world. I want to communicate what I believe and advocate ideas that can change behaviors. Social media is a very productive way for me to do this and so here I am world!
Upon my newfound goals to be more social media savvy, I revisited my social media platforms and asked myself; what content adds value and what does not?
My Facebook has collected a lot of useless content in the past years and I neglected to monitor what represents me on this particular platform. I only mention Facebook because the only other platform I have is Instagram (which I just started), but have had Facebook for two years now. Although I believe this idea can be applied to any social media platform.
I value those things which represent me. I see visitors to my Facebook in almost the same way as visitors to my home. If I am to be a minimalist, than my home should be filled with only those things which add value. Whatever I value reflects me as an individual and I want to communicate that to those who visit my home.
I want to transition this belief to my social media home(s). I want everything on Facebook to represent me and what I truly value. I evaluated myself and took the appropriate actions.
After going through my Facebook, I determined what I hold valuable and what I don’t and deleted the latter.
The things that I value that can be reflected on social media are as follows:
- Representations of my close connections and those I care about.
- Individual Belief
- Links to information or small posts expressing how I feel about a subject.
Those things which are not valuable to me are:
- Representations of the same thing
- Copies of the same picture or pictures that are in the same setting or at the same event.
- Arguing publicly on Facebook where everyone can see pulls in unwanted attention and I would rather such conversation be private.
- Crude posts
- I hate seeing posts from those I am friends with that are unnecessarily rude or degrading. I will un-follow or unfriend those people.
- Unprofessional depictions of myself
- I am all for a silly good time but I have personal boundaries for what pictures of me are on Facebook. If they do not represent me in the way I want to be represented, then I will take them down.
I tackled my Facebook account hard with this criteria I made for myself and it took me an hour and half! Facebook did not make it easy for me to re-invent how I am viewed.
At the end, I honestly feel more valuable and I have made a goal to better monitor what content is on my Facebook from now on, by asking myself the true minimalist test question; does this add value or not?
This is one way that I am trying to apply the minimalist principle to my life and plan to write further posts on my experience with other applications.