The first purge of 2017
Anatomy of an Outfit 050

Anatomy of an Outfit 050 - lovefromberlin.net - Rae Tashman

Anatomy of this Outfit: Shirt – Black Water Studios*, Jacket – Thrifted, Hat – Kauf Dich Glücklich, Bag The Cambridge Satchel Company*, Tights – H&M, Socks – Likalla*

How many Facebook friends to you have?
Secondly, how many apps do you have for messaging – i.e. Whatsapp, fb messenger, Viber, Line, normal sms, etc. that you actively use?

Now after you have answered these two questions, I would like you to ask yourself the following:

Of those [insert number here] Facebook friends, with how many do you have regular contact, how many are you friends with out of politeness – Politeness in this context meaning you do not dislike the person but are actually relatively ambivalent and are friends with them based on feeling guilty, or otherwise? How many of these Facebook friends are friends with you out of politeness? How many of these friendships are legacy friendships?

And lastly, what is your average reply time when it comes to messaging apps?

Anatomy of an Outfit 050 - lovefromberlin.net - Rae Tashman

As I was lying in bed sick with what I suspect to be the flu yesterday, I thought about these questions and how much time and energy we spend “keeping up appearances” or replying to messages out of politeness. I thought about the fact that I have about 5 different messaging apps and how my reply time is appallingly shit. Not that anyone should be telling us how and when to reply, but seeing some messages unread for weeks does make me shudder.

But then I thought about how trying to keep up with everyone wears us thin and actually takes precious time away from the relationships we WANT to have and the things we WANT to be doing.

Anatomy of an Outfit 050 - lovefromberlin.net - Rae Tashman

At the end of the day, it’s not actually possible to be friends with 400 some people. It’s just not. But social media is a strange thing. Because it makes us expect that everyone is available 24-7 at the drop of a hat while forgetting to take into account the fact that we all now have 50x as many people expecting this of us – and not just expecting us to remain in contact, but to do so consistently and as actively as humans once did before Facebook.

Anatomy of an Outfit 050 - lovefromberlin.net - Rae Tashman

We focus a lot on how social media affects our lives both positively and negatively, but in general when the topic of social media is being explored, we are focusing specifically on apps like Twitter and Instagram – public social media platforms which focus on sharing and followers. But we forget that Facebook and messaging apps are also part of social media and aside from our public personas we also have a life online consumed by social media where our private real life world blends with the web. And this blending can be just as unhealthy.

Anatomy of an Outfit 050 - lovefromberlin.net - Rae Tashman

As a result of these ruminations, I went on my first Facebook purge of 2017 between blowing my nose and trying to stave off my fever. I deleted a handful of people, but still kept a lot of work colleagues or people I thought could be potential work connections, as well as friends of friends, as I just couldn’t be as ruthless as I wanted to be. I’m sure I will be doing another purge soon, but it raises an interesting point that although our Facebooks are supposed to be our private spaces online for keeping in touch with friends and family, the majority of us still have a friends list at least half-full of old classmates, work colleagues, etc. who we simply cannot bare to unfriend for fear of offending.

Anatomy of an Outfit 050 - lovefromberlin.net - Rae Tashman

But here’s the thing – what the fuck is a Facebook friend anyway? A Facebook friend does not a true friendship make. And even if we unfriend someone, it doesn’t even mean we dislike the person, it just means we do not have the energy at this point in time (but maybe in the future) to try and cultivate that relationship. We live in an era where we are so afraid of offending and become offended so easily at an unfollow or a de-friending. So many people expect others to be as attached to their devices as they are and when an SMS is sent, expect immediate responses.

Honestly, in an ideal world, I would have a Friends list of less than 60 people so that I could actually devote substantial time to each and every person in my list – and even 60 is probably 40 too many.

Anatomy of an Outfit 050 - lovefromberlin.net - Rae Tashman

I’m not really sure if my thought experiment has any particular conclusion, and I am typing this post up at 1:38 am in the morning through a haze of sickness, so I’m not even all that sure if I am making any sense, but what I am trying to say is this – when it comes to living with intension, we should be doing so in all areas of our lives and it’s almost insulting to those we truly care about that we waste our time with those who don’t hold these positions in our lives. If we really paired down our communication to those who really matter, we could all be better friends to the ones we truly care about.

And if we finally put aside this idea of all or nothing we would also realise it’s not a dick move to de-friend someone or decide we do not have time for someone. Not having time to meet up for a coffee or chat on Facebook is not saying you dislike that other person. Hell, I’m sure that other person is a fine ass individual doing awesome shit with their lives. But we can’t be friends with everyone and not everyone can be friends with us either.

Anatomy of an Outfit 050 - lovefromberlin.net - Rae Tashman

I was talking about this exact topic with Betti on Facebook just a few hours ago and she mentioned how stressed out she was getting at trying to keep up with all of the different people in her life and how she literally felt bad about not being able to give attention to each and every person who she found interesting and felt was worthy of becoming friends with. She eventually drew a friendship pyramid and created a hierarchy of the people in her life. At the top were her closest friends, next came those who were lovely but were more acquaintances at this point in her life, next, those who have drifted from her due to time and geography but who she would still happily sacrifice a night or two a year for, then came people who don’t really matter, and lastly those who might even be toxic.

Now, I don’t suggest you go and do the same thing and post it all over your social media because you would definitely be incurring a shit storm. But I honestly think it’s not a bad idea to do something like this for your and your eyes only in order to help prioritise your time and re-evaluate your priorities when it comes to the relationships you have in your life. I am personally definitely considering doing the same.

Photography: Victoria Reinsch



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Stay conscious, Rae

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  • Very interesting points you raised there, Rae! Personally I probably wouldn’t go on a big FB purge as of yet, simply because I don’t really feel a need to (that said, I probably don’t need 90% of those FB friends anyway) as I just think of it as them being… there. I use it most for family and friends who don’t have other common ways of getting in touch (my grandma is a big fan and likes everything I post lol) and the rest I just skim and I probably spend very little time on there unless I need to find specific information.

    I like the idea of where you’re going with it though, choosing and prioritising your relationships and putting the ones you care about most first :-) I think I need to actively do it in real life, especially with those less than healthy friendships which keeps coming back… as eerie as it sounds!

    Cherie ✽ sinonym

  • Happy new year Rae, another fab post. I found it interesting as I deleted Facebook years ago and I don’t miss it at all. It wasn’t really a way to keep in touch but more to be nosey and see what a friend of a friend is doing! I mainly keep in touch on Whatsapp and that works well with my friends and family :) I don’t like to be reliant on social media to keep up with people and as I’ve gotten older, I value quality relationships over quantity.

    Hanh | hanhabelle

  • Happy New Year!
    I have been doing facebook friend purges for a while now. Usually after the school year ended I would go back and filter through my list of friends. Professionally I stay connected through Linkedin with a lot of people and I keep facebook more personal. Lately I have also done a purge of instagram accounts I follow because I noticed I spent hours just scrolling through my instagram feed. So now I just have those that I really like to follow =o)

    dreamofadventures.blogspot.com

  • I have not done a facebook friend purge exactly because of the fear of offending somebody. I do have friends who have done this though. To me befriending on facebook does mean that the person does not want to be in contact anymore and it would offend me if I noticed it. However, in the many years I’ve been on facebook I have only noticed twice that a certain person has unfriended me, although, the friend numbers have been shifting vigorously. So from all the people who have unfriended me I wanted to keep in contact with only 2. There are many people who I could unfriend and I don’t think they would notice, but then on the back of my mind I always consider whether there is some important contacts there (I don’t believe 90% would be an important contact). So, instead of keeping up uppearanses I use facebook as a kind of log of people I know. With some I do communicate over the messenger, but most are just there.

    Lii
    https://byliil.wordpress.com/

  • Elena

    This was such an interesting post! You always bring up nice themes to talk about. I think personally, we could also have two accounts, one for business and less important people who we still want to inform about stuff and on for our close freinds and family. Then we separe those people in two sections and we know how to react to the people of which account.
    love, elena :)

    outnaboutweb.wordpress.com

  • I have given up on Facebook. I don’t really use it anymore. It’s not a private space where I can interact with friends and family. If I want to send a message to the people I care about, I just send a text or whatsapp. That’s it. Facebook is just there but I barely use it as a tool to communicate. Too much ads and useless things being posted there. And I really hate using it to announce anything personal about my life. I’d rather see people in person or send a text.

    Some people share WAYYY too much there. From birth stories, baby pictures every single second, or humble brags.

    -Christine
    http://www.christinelovestotravel.com

  • One of my goals for 2016 and now 2017 has been to cut clutter from my life, and this has inspired me to apply that to social media as well. “What the fuck is a Facebook friend anyway” got me thinking, girl! I always appreciate your perspective on ideas such as this.

    Kathryn • simplykk.com

  • This is really great advice. There are so many things cluttering up our lives that don’t need to be there, but taking the first steps to removing them can be difficult. I only have Facebook to keep up with my fellow MA students and I really only check in there once a week. I don’t miss it at all, but teenage me would be shocked that I can function without it haha

  • sileas

    What a smart first blog post for 2017! I’m impressed how wisely you used your time sick in bed and it got me thinking too about the superficial (fake?) social media world… Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I hope you’re feeling better by now! And happy new year btw :)

  • ugh you look soo soo cute, rae! <3 i love the bag, especially. omg. and get well soon :(

    this is a great kickstart to 2017. but i also believe that unfriending people on any social media platform also don't matter if we're actually acquaintances irl. those are just numbers. i used to get worked up so much on people unfollowed me, but hey, most of them are strangers and i can't even bring myself to actually care anyway. but if 'decluttering' social media make you feel better then you do you. do whatever that don't make your heart sink, that don't make you feel like shit, that don't overwhelm you with sheer amount of updates. knowing how and when to pull boundaries on things should be a priority.

  • Bivisyani Q.

    What an amazing way to start the year! When I thought the discussion is done, you go and explore some more and got me completely intrigued.

    About the Facebook problem, may I give my 2 cents? Since Facebook made the “unfollow” function with our “friendship” with the person we unfollow stay completely intact—and them not knowing if we stop following everything they share—I’ve been using this function to basically kick unimportant people out of my life. This I usually do to people I don’t particularly care for but share way too much on Facebook. As for people I don’t actually know in real life but have added me through one means or another, so long as they don’t bother me on the timeline, I keep them because I don’t see any reason not to. Lastly, I’ve removed the “add” function on my profile, unless the person is a friend of a friend. This has helped me curate my timeline.

    That being said, I think it’s important to remember that I’m quite inactive on Facebook, in the sense that I barely ever post there anymore—except for blog posts which I do on the “fanpage” (silly name) anyway. I usually simply scroll through my timeline to see what everyone else is up to and somehow keep uptodate with the lives of people who I never even talk to anymore.

    In real life, I probably only have a handful of actually real friends. But it makes me happy anyway to see that other people are doing well in their respective lives. Should they feel the desire to contact me and rekindle our friendship, I would oblige. Otherwise, I’ll leave them be.

    P.S: feel free to ignore/not reply to this comment, I know you’re busy ;)

    Alive as Always

  • How is that possible that you look perfect almost everywhere? xD In the every single picture, haha. I seriously love that new haircolour – it also matches the jacket and bag! ◠‿◠ ♡

    * Blog de la Licorne *

  • FB purging feels so good sometimes lls. It shouldn’t be offensive if you delete someone that you haven’t personally talked to in a long time. I did a IG purge last year of accounts I always scrolled past too, it’s like spring cleaning.

  • Nadia Henderson

    I love your outfit! It’s made me want to run out and go thrifting! I should go on another deleting spree on Facebook. I think overall I have just over 100 “friends,” who are either actual friends, family, colleagues, or people I feel too awkward deleting. When I was growing up it was, stupidly, embarrassing to not have 100s of friends on FB but now the more I amass the weirder it feels!

    Nadia | http://notsoquietgrrl.com/

  • I so wholeheartedly agree with you! I always feel a bit mentally lighter when I’ve done a good Facebook purge!

    http://www.rhymeandribbons.com

  • The majority of my closest friends don’t use Facebook. I’ve taken to unfollowing people on Facebook, though I don’t unfriend them. I find that the people I keep in touch with are the people I text with iMessage and WeChat, and you don’t need social media for that! :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • you bring up so many interesting points! I’m not really on Facebook that much but i sort of did the same thing with instagram the other day, just wanted some new content for my feed, and to unfollow a few things that weren’t inspiring me anymore.

    http://www.paigesofnothing.com/2016/12/less-is-more-2017.html

  • This look is so chic, I love the colorblock jacket! I feel like pastel shades are just as versatile during the colder days as black, white and grey. Also about facebook I went on a purge too since I accepted request from people I met at a gathering once and know nothing about; yes it is a strange thing to call these people “friends”. Anyhow, great post, very deep and thought-provoking, thanks for the share! :) xo~ Lena
    http://www.thewanderliste.com

  • I’m really glad you brought up this topic, Rae! Lately I think I’ve been avoiding Facebook for this exact reason – I have so many ‘friends’ appearing on my newsfeed that it all just seems like unnecessary noise. Most of my close friends hardly use Facebook anyway, so maybe I should considering doing my own purge soon too. Happy new year, by the way! :)

  • Get out my head.
    I barely use facebook these days, I use the messaging app but even then my reply times are awful. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I care too much. Unless I can be a good friend, a close friend I’m pretty ambivalent. I have about 5 people, excluding family that mean the most to me and I don’t need facebook for them, y’know?

  • First, your hair is perfect. Secondly, this is such a good way to think of social media and also how to purge your Facebook and other accounts. My friends and I were discussing how one of them goes through the “TODAY’S BIRTHDAY’S” list and if they aren’t someone they want to wish happy birthday to then they unfriend them. I thought this was a really simple and easy way to purge friends with little thought. It’s hard living in the era of media where we feel so obligated to be friends with people online. As well as trying to keep up with everyone and everything. It’s just…so much.

    http://midwest-muse.net

    • Elizabeth Hisle

      That’s a really freaking smart idea tbh.

  • I’m the worst texter ever… I need at least two days to reply… And I barely even use Facebook, every since I left high school and these ‘friends’ x

    Jessica — NinetyCo

  • What a lovely look! Love it!

    Hugs and Kisses
    Aistė
    http://aistesaint.blogspot.com

  • I barely use Facebook nowadays because it’s full of rants and political opinions that I’m sick of hearing. I did a purge a long time ago but I think now is a good time to do it again.

    Melissa the Mermaid ♥

  • love your style!!! :)
    xx finja | http://www.effcaa.com

  • Elizabeth Hisle

    I don’t know how many FB friends I have, but I haven’t added anyone in years. I use the messenger app solely because my best friend is living in Okinawa right now and that is literally the only way to talk to her. We talk daily. Other than that, it’s the typical husband/family texting and…. I guess I really don’t talk to very many people, really. My coworkers. But we rarely message each other because I already see them every day.

    Anyway, I typically reply to messages at a good rate, but only because the only people messaging me are people I want to talk to! Otherwise, I would be likely to ignore it for a long while.

    I did go through and block anyone who might be toxic last year though. The election helped with that.

  • Sophie Lee

    I enjoy reading this post, it makes me think of my situation too <3

    xoxo, Cool men fashion

  • It’s so funny how even replying to a simple message or email or blog comment can sometimes be SO consuming that you can’t cope with the thought of doing it so you just ignore it for a week (or several). It’s such a simple thing to just type out a response but sometimes even just the thought is exhausting. But not everyone needs a response and we shouldn’t have to put ourselves through that for the sake of perceived politeness. That’s exactly why I’m hardly on Instagram or Twitter anymore because it’s just exhausting having to keep up all the time (not that either of them were ever that busy for me), not to mention everything we have to do in real life as well. Facebook doesn’t bother me as much because I never really post anything and I just unfollow people who annoy me and they’ll never know, but I swear everyone must feel like this sometimes but we all just keep going with the charade and keep using all the different social media apps because we “have” to, haha. It’s definitely too much for me sometimes.

    littlehenrylee.net