Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Unsubscribed, Unliked

For several years, I've had many emails flood my inbox notifying me of companies' articles, books, television shows, videos, sales, new products/features, programs, etc.. A few weeks ago, I decided to enhance my Fakebook experience by liking a bunch of newspapers, news channels, documentary-style public television shows, magazines, groups, etc. I've had a lot of fun reading interesting, insightful, inspiring and intriguing articles galore, via my email inbox and Facebook newsfeed.

Although I greatly enjoyed my reading time, I slowly realized that anytime I got on Facebook, I had a constant desire to devour the next bit of fascinating information that scrolled into view. I felt the same way toward the uplifting emails I received. I continually had eight to ten windows open on my smarty phone, and my laptop was usually hovering around seven to eight. In my spare time, I felt the need to read all of those articles simply because they taught me oh-so-many things I didn't previously know—I greatly enjoyed learning from them!

One day last week, I realized my incessant reading had stopped being fun. I didn't like feeling guilty for not finishing the neglected half-read articles on my open windows. I repeatedly thought, "Oh, I can't close that window yet, I really want to finish that article!"—even though some windows had been open for many days! So, last week, I unliked a bunch of companies on Facebook. I also unsubscribed from the several commercial emails I receive each month.

At first, I wondered if by unsubscribing and unliking almost everything I might miss out on something important, or special, or life-changing. (I still like a few local businesses, friends' pages, and many of my church's pages.) But now I'm convinced I made a fabulous choice. I simply feel free!

Imagine this: a house cluttered with stuff in every nook and cranny. Now envision that my unsubscribing/unliking is the equivalent of a deep-cleaning and organizing session of that messy house—except it was much easier for me to do than all that. I just had to click the left button on my mouse and voila! A neat and tidy mind! Ha ha.

I really like the way my mind is now more open to be able to research or peruse whatever tickles my fancy each day—not someone's recommended must-read. I no longer feel pressured by my newsfeed or inbox to read/watch/research something possibly important. It doesn't mean I might not subscribe to or like something in the future (if it's really and truly important to me), it simply means I have more time. Yay!

Speaking of time, here's one of my all-time favorite quotes ever, given by Dallin H. Oaks in his General Conference talk, Focus and Priorities, April, 2001:
"Our priorities are most visible in how we use our time. Someone has said, 'Three things never come back—the spent arrow, the spoken word, and the lost opportunity.' We cannot recycle or save the time allotted to us each day. With time, we have only one opportunity for choice, and then it is gone forever."

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