After some mulling (but not too much!), I have slashed my Facebook ‘Friends’ list down from over 120 to 99. All my mercurial planets insist that communications count (Sun, Merc in Gemini in 6th house), and count seriously (Saturn in Gemini conjunct Sun and Merc, and Pluto in Virgo).

The Facebook phenomenon is no doubt going to keep social anthropologists in work for a little while. While I like using it, and have found several long lost friends through it, I also notice that it provides a space for a different kind of interpersonal interaction peculiar to cyberspace. Namely, interaction without engagement — via pokes, chocolate bunnies, dim sum gifts, and what not. I had ‘Friends’ who would not respond to a single ‘hello’ post, either on their Walls, or in a private message, but would keep sending me SuperPokes and cyber-beers and the like. These things (to me) can be a nice addition to a friendship but mean nothing when they substitute for it.

Then, there are the attention-seekers. The ones who post endlessly about their parenting guilt — which may ease up if they spent more time with their kids and less on Facebook moaning about not spending time with their kids?; the ones who post endlessly about being blessed by God — I have nothing against God, but all the repetition is conveying to people reading it is acute anxiety; and the ones who post endless non-sequiturs on every photo and link on your profile in an attempt to be funny, heard, or noticed. The latter in particular when you’ve told them you no longer want to hear about their nuptial woes. So they can’t get your attention one way, they’ll try another way.

And then there are the out-and-out psychos. I once knew a ‘Friend’ who literally cursed me (and I don’t mean just using swear words) because she was upset I was playing so much Scrabble with someone else, and we appeared to be exchanging private, anonymous gifts. She was so sure the gifts were from me to this other person and vice versa, even though each of us had more than 60 Friends at the time. I hit ‘delete’ on that one and haven’t looked back.

I am aware that you can limit, block and hide things and people on Facebook, but that entails an energy exchange nonetheless. They create a vibrational buzz on the periphery of my consciousness like white noise and it exhausts me. I know some people like the TV or radio on in the background even when they’re not watching or listening to it, but I’m not one of them. I also cannot watch bad TV in order to unwind (advice I was offered before). I’d much rather sit in silence and read a good book.

Communication has a real value for me. Good comms energise, bad comms drain. Having something thoughtless or inconsiderate flung on your Wall can feel like someone’s crapped on your (cyber)yard. The Facebook profile is after all set up as a public, but also personal space, not unlike a front porch. Like a front porch, you may choose who you want to invite up there.

Venus conjuncts my natal Sun today; you’d think I’d be ‘friendlier’? I think I’m simply waking up to what I value in myself and others.

Image: Pruned willow tree. Source: stock.xchng.


6 Responses to Pruning

  1. nray says:

    I like your front porch analogy.

    P.S. I have a Sun-Mercury-Saturn sqaure Pluto friend who’s done the same. Made his spouse do it, too.

  2. hitchhiker72 says:

    Yeah, it struck me that all these people with their Superpokes are sort of like hovering around the hedges… not wanting to be real but not wanting to be ignored either.

  3. nray says:

    I just ignore stuff like that now. It may be their way of saying “thinking of you.” Also, I think a lot of people are not articulate. They just don’t have “words.” You’re a writer, a different species.

    But cutting off negative people from your personal space: I’m with your there totally.

  4. hitchhiker72 says:

    Ah, no, I wasn’t being clear. I didn’t mean I deleted all the Superpoking-only Friends. Still plenty of those on my list. Only the ones also giving off negative energy.


  5. lucywatchthesky says:

    Dude, you need some cooler friends. Like whoa.

  6. hitchhiker72 says:

    Lucy – haha! You’re absolutely right! Actually, I just need to invest my time and energy in the cool friends that I do have. And not waste it all fending off the vampires.

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