Merry Christmas!

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Minimalism and Social Media

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2016 and 2017 have been tremendous years of growth and healing for me. And as a part of that journey, I have found myself embracing minimalism.

As noted earlier this year (see this post), I purged a lot of physical “stuff” from my life.

But as I continued down this new path of “less stuff”, and found myself enjoying the freedom it gave me, I started to examine other areas of my life.

It took me a few months, but social media eventually came under scrutiny. Just how much time was I spending on managing my accounts? Why was I letting so much unnecessary drama into my life? Did I really care that Billy Bob who I hadn’t actually talked to in 5 years liked Nascar, or Betty Sue and Mary Jane were having a heated debate about crockpots? If I’m being honest, not really.

So I took a deep breath, and made the decision to apply minimalism to my social media accounts. First, I realized I was trying to maintain a presence on too many platforms, so I sat down and thought about where I spent the most time online, socially. Once I realized it was Facebook, LinkedIn, and occassionally Twitter, it was an easy decision to give up following or posting anything on Google Plus, Instagram, and Pinterest.

But that still wasn’t enough for me, to satisfy my need to continue minimalism in my social media feeds. I found myself asking “Why do I have so many “friends” on Facebook, when I don’t even follow 90% of them, or they are really only work colleagues who I don’t interact with on a daily basis?  So I took an even deeper breath and made the decision earlier this month to purge my “friends” on Facebook. On December 6th I posted:

“As I embrace minimalism more and more, I need to also examine other areas of “stuff”, and this includes social media. There are a large number of people who I am “friends” with on Facebook, who I do like (I wouldn’t have friended you otherwise in the first place), but who I do not interact with at all anymore, or only professionally.

If I work with you and unfriend you, please feel free to connect with me on Linked In.

If I unfriend you, and I do not work with you, please don’t take it personally. I am just simplifying, and focusing on those people in my life that I have an active friendship with.

Thank you for understanding.”

And I proceeded to unfriend over 300 people. Can I tell you that was EXTREMELY liberating? And if you read this and find yourself unfriended already, or in the near future, please don’t be offended, as it was nothing personal. I’m just limiting what comes into my life, as less is more. Especially with social media.



The Water

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Happy 4th of July!

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List Automation Using IFTTT

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“If This Then That”. I love this service, and wish I had embraced it sooner! Believe it or not, my Amazon Echo Dots are what drive me to look into IFTTT.  I like my Echo Dots. A lot. Besides the usual play my music, what’s the weather, tell me a joke, and simple home automation type of stuff, I actually use them to generate to-do’s and add items to my shopping list. The problem was, I use Reminders on my iOS devices, and I didn’t want to copy and paste everything between apps.

Why don’t I use Siri and just add things directly into Reminders? Good question! And the answer is because I don’t always carry my phone with me everywhere in the house (I can hear some of you gasping in shock!), and other family members use the Dots as well. For example, my daughter can tell Alexa to add Pop Tarts to the shopping list. If and when I upgrade to a HomePod, or multiple HomePods, perhaps Siri will be preferred the AI Assistant that I use full time, but until then, I will continue to leverage Alexa, and IFTTT, in conjunction with Siri.

So how does IFTTT fit into all of this? I leverage IFTTT to perform the drudgery of copying the list items automatically for me! I use this applet to copy my Alexa to-do’s to iOS Reminders.  And I use this applet to add Alexa generated shopping list items specifically to my “Shopping” list on iOS Reminders. Unfortunately, I still need to manually clear the items out of the Alexa lists, but I simply purge the lists at the end of the week when I perform my weekly review (yes, I still am a fan of “Getting Things Done”!).


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