Would you pay a monthly access fee if it meant seeing no ads in your Facebook feed?
This was the question I posed recently to a Facebook group. Not immune to sales pitches, my home page was inundated with ads for stuff I really want but do not need.
Those shoes look really cute.
That’s a nice comforter, how much?
Scores of people responded, all with a resounding NO!
I began to question the authenticity of my minimalist journey. How could I even entertain the idea of paying for an already free service? Doubts abounded.
Then a curious thing happened.
Someone else, with questions about minimalism, asked her fellows about paying someone to clean her home.
Almost everyone who responded said they hire someone to clean. Some had people come in several times a month, others once in a while. These were some of the same people who refused to pay a small monthly fee for social media use. Yet they were willing to pay at least four times that much to have someone clean their home.
What’s going on here? Are minimalists inconsistent? Sure. We are just like everyone else. We struggle, sometimes confusing wants with needs, like with love. Are we hypocrites, giving lip service to a life with less, but not really living it? Perhaps.
These thoughts and more crossed my mind as I read through the responses to this woman’s question.
Perhaps we’re not asking the right questions.
Perhaps we should be asking something more fundamental–what do we value?
If that’s the question, then it makes perfect sense for a minimalist to pay someone to clean their home, yet not want to shell out the bucks to skip a few ads, and vice versa.
If we value a clean home, but cannot do it, then paying someone to help clean it adds value to your life (not to mention you are helping another person make a viable living).
If we want to eliminate visual clutter and reduce the temptation to buy objects, then paying to have the ads removed can be a valuable service.
Minimalism isn’t about spending less money. It’s about using money as a tool to greater freedom.
PS…I found a great Firefox app for blocking Facebook ads–free!