I don’t know if this reflects my getting older, or just a shift in priorities, but I’ve been getting rid of a lot of my computer files lately. Old writing I’ve never been able to use, instant messaging conversations I saved for reasons I no longer remember. I’m letting it all go.
This weekend, that extended to facebook. I updated all of my privacy settings to be more secure, removed tags from photos I no longer wanted to be associated with (because I looked stupid), and deleted a lot of old postings. I deleted all of my status updates and a significant number of posts other people had left on my page.
While deleting my status updates, I realized they were very similar to my tweets on twitter. They also confirmed that I was often concerned with being cold and that I do in fact have my own unique lexicon. (Recurring words included “crazy” and “whoa.”)
When I started deleting posts by others I found information from friends I no longer speak to. After they said some harsh words to me, I cut off all ties. These posts were from when we were still friends though. But reading them confirmed that these people–the ones that I had called friends until they hurt me with their words–had always been jerks.
Even when a friend was being nice to me, she was somehow belittling what I said. My friend asked about what was going on in my life, but didn’t pay enough attention to keep details straight. One girl, when I told her I was going to library school, had said “that’s funny.” Sometimes I would look back and regret losing touch with these people. But now I’m glad I did because I realize more clearly than ever that they brought nothing but negative energy into my life.
During the purge, I was surprised to realize how much information the site stores. I had “site activity” updates going back two years. The process was tedious and annoying, but it was also cathartic. I feel lighter. I’m no longer tied to past events. I define my past. It does not define me.