Even before I consciously decided that I wanted to become a minimalist, I apparently have already been taking some steps to declutter my life. Here are five things I’ve done before that I was unaware was a prelude to my journey towards living minimally:
1. Unfriended/unfollowed some people on social media.
I don’t have a regular schedule of unfriending/unfollowing people on my social media accounts. I just find that I tend to tap on those buttons when someone posts something sexist, racist, ignorant, or something equally bigoted. I am selective of the people I allow on my social media to begin with, so this only happens on very rare occasions. (By “selective”, I mean I only accept or send friend requests from/to people I personally know.)
2. Shut down my other social media profiles.
For example, I used to have a public Instagram account. I rarely used it anyway and it didn’t have a specific purpose, so I shut it down. I also stopped using Snapchat, though that’s mostly out of laziness.
3. Deleted my tweets.
I joined Twitter in 2008, on my sophomore year in college. Needless to say, teenaged me tweeted a lot of embarrassing things. I began mass-deleting tweets around 2011, mostly because I was trying to erase traces of myself online in case I didn’t pass the Licensure Exam for Teachers (in case you didn’t know, I am an overdramatic only child. I also did not review at all for the LET). I fortunately passed the exam, and hence became once again confident in tweeting embarrassing things. But when I began actually practicing my chosen profession in 2014, I started becoming less active on Twitter and just decided to use the platform for following celebrities and news outlets, and retweeting memes. I deleted pretty much all of my tweets around that time, and maintained using my Twitter for catching up with news (and memes, of course).
4. Deleted several Facebook posts.
Similar to my Twitter move, I temporarily deactivated my Facebook account in May 2011 during the agonizing wait for the LET results. (Again, I was trying to save myself from some embarrassment in case I fail an important exam I did not bother reviewing for. I have made a lot of regrettable decisions in my teens, okay?) I enjoyed that quiet time I had away from Facebook and even considered permanently deactivating my account. However, I also found Facebook to be a valuable means of keeping in touch with old friends, so I’ve instead compromised by just simply deleting my posts and modifying my privacy settings. I hardly post on my Facebook nowadays, but I’m keeping it alive so I can relish in the moments and memories my friends and relatives are happily and willingly sharing on the platform.
5. Let go of my second iPad.
The reason I allowed myself to have a second iPad was because my personal one used to have only 16gb of storage—meaning, there’s not enough storage space for my work files. Plus, at that time, I was too O.C. about keeping my personal and work devices separate. Even then, I was aware that having two iPads was overindulgent; however, the system I had for myself back then kept me sane. But changes in my philosophies about work-life balance and an upgrade on my device left my second iPad no longer fulfilling the purpose it once served me. So I decided to sell it. It is now in the hands of someone whom I trust and who needs it more than I do. 😊
Most of the purging I’ve done before have something to do with technology, and all these had been crucial in helping me focus my energy to only what I deem to be necessary. I still have a lot of decluttering to do, but I’m taking my time…