Monday, November 23, 2009

Cleaning Up Online

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

This morning as I turned on the computer, one of my chat accounts tried to get cranky with me and would not log-on. The other names all had no problems, only the one did. It was only then that I noticed I had seven chat-identities. Most of them were repeats of the same name - just one for each of the major chat programs, Yahoo, MSN, and AIM. Some were creations from years ago (all the way back to the 90’s when chat first began) that have continued to hang around though I no longer use the email addresses associated with them.

I started going through emails and realized there are six different email addresses I use regularly.

I went through Facebook and saw that there are some 300 “Friends” I have. As I scrolled through the names, I saw some people who had added me as friends with whom I have not talked in over 20 years. Am I really friends with them if we have not spoken in over 20 years or was the friend request simply a statement of “Oh, hey, there’s a name I recognize.”

Some of them were people from college and we have moved our different ways and prior to the internet, staying in contact really did take more effort, but now it is quite easy for us to stay in contact and sites such as Facebook have played a valuable role in the reconnections. But for others from my home town, with whom I barely had a connection while growing up, are we really friends now? I started removing connections - or as the word of the year says, “unfriend”ing people.

But if we never really were friends, is it now unfriending?

I’m in the process of consolidating the various chat names into a single ID for each of the three main programs, but I have not thought of the right creative catch name. My primary two emails will likely stay the same, however, I will most likely kill off all the others. It may even cut down the junk email for a few months!

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