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I Deleted 564 Friends On Facebook But I Have Saved 100 Real Life Friendships

I Deleted 564 Friends On Facebook But I Have Saved 100 Real Life Friendships

I was meeting one of my best friends from college last weekend. She lives abroad for work but she will come back at least once a year; every time she’s back she will definitely make an effort to see me and It feels like she never left.

During our chat, she asked: “Do you think it’s getting a lot harder to make friends as we grow up?” I laughed and said: “Who doesn’t think like that?”

Her question stuck in my mind that night, and suddenly I came up with another thought.

I opened my Facebook. Slowly and gradually, I deleted 564 friends that night.

Making friends is actually a lot easier than you think.

Let me prove this.

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Imagine you met someone interesting at a party and you feel like it would be great if you guys could stay connected after the party. So the next thing you did was get onto Facebook, search the name, move your fingertip to the magic button “Add friends” and JOB DONE!

Just one magic click and you guys are friends now. Just as simple as that.

However, I think this redirected me to a deeper question.

What’s the true meaning of friends?

I tried to find an answer by recalling memories on how I made friends before “The Dawn Of Facebook”.

We approach new people, we talk to them, we share, we build trust and most importantly we make connections, in real life. After experiencing parts of our lives together, we value them as “friends.”

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Then I asked myself while looking at my Facebook friend list, “How many of them have gone through that process?”

This is why I decided that I didn’t want to get overwhelmed by life updates from people who I don’t even recall who they are.

On Selecting “Who I want to delete?”

It’s hard at first, I’m not lying. It’s not because my reason isn’t strong enough, but when you have your mouse hovering over the unfriend button, everything seems to come to a final end.

No one likes to say goodbye and clicking that unfriend button makes ending the relationship official.

But ask yourself, “If Facebook didn’t exist, would you like that person to get access to that much information about your life?” and “Do you really want to know what’s happening in their lives or are you just afraid of missing out?”

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Deleting Facebook friend is just as simple as that.

I don’t mean “hey-it’s-nice-knowing-you-for-a-while-but-we-barely-talk-and-I-feel-like-I-don’t-need-you-in-my-life-now-so-farewell-old-friend”, but the truth is an online goodbye doesn’t equal removing that person entirely from your real life.

True friends stay connected even without the help of Facebook (or any kinds of social media). And it’s kinda scary that we need a constant reminder on that.

Will They Get Mad? Maybe I think too much.

What if they come and ask me, “Why did you delete me on Facebook?” And yes, that sounds a bit awkward, doesn’t it?
No one likes to be ignored or removed but I think the problem is people take online relationships too seriously. 

People might think, “It’s not official until it’s Facebook official!”, but let me remind you of this.

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Facebook life is just an Online Life and it doesn’t equal your Actual Life. Why would you spend time on getting social validation instead of having real connections with people you claimed to care about? or at least make an effort to really stay tuned with their lives?

Think about it this way.  How can one honestly be offended if you two don’t write on each other’s walls or feel weird to like each other’s photos or status?

Besides, you might be overthinking because they may not even notice. Either they don’t care or they don’t value social validation as much as you do.

But what if they really ask? Then take this as a good sign. This can mean they do care about you but just getting too busy with their lives to catch up. This gives both of you a good chance to reconnect.

So Now I have fewer friends, on Facebook, then what?

Looking at my “friend list”, the number has shrunk by half but my heart feels a lot more fulfilled and satisfying. Scrolling through my feed, it is clean and clear now.

I can finally see some of the updates from my old friends. I noticed that I have missed a lot of their precious moments because I had too many distractions before. So it’s time to catch up with them, both online and offline.

Decluttering unnecessary relationships doesn’t only free me up for more important people in my life but most importantly, I came to realize my mind and life can be so much simpler if I don’t value social media as much as the social standard does.

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Jolie Choi

Gone through a few heartbreaks and lost hundreds of friends but I am still happy with my life.

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Last Updated on January 6, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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