I have 643 friends on Facebook. The number’s not 5,000 like some of my friends, but enough that it kind of saturates who I actually care about.
To me, Facebook and Twitter have made friendships a lot less meaningful. Do I really need to be friends with 643 people? No one actually stays in contact with that many friends and people in real life, so what makes our social media life any different?
Do I really need to be friends with the guy who sat next to me in ECON 305 in college? No. Do I really need to be friends with my kickball buddy’s girlfriend? No. Do I really need to be friends with a fellow concession worker when I was employed by my local movie theater in high school? No. Do I really need to be friends with a supermodel I met when I went on vacation to the Bahamas? Maybe.
Why do we keep these people as friends on Facebook? I honestly do not care about what is going on in their lives, and I undoubtedly know they don’t care about what is going on in my life either. Is it a contest? Do we get a Facebook Teddy Bear if we hit the 5,000 mark? Nope. (At least I don’t think we do. But please inform me if you actually do receive one so I can try to get that).
Comedian/late night host Jimmy Kimmel created National Unfriend Day on November 17, 2010, and after I thought about it, I actually did it. I deleted about 350-400 friends and it actually made me care a lot more about my News Feed on Facebook. I had “hidden” a few people previously who posted frequent, random, worthless posts that I never cared about, but deleting those people made me feel so much more refreshed.
Here’s a true test. Post this as your status: “Can anyone help me move a grand piano to my apartment located on the fifteenth floor of my complex? Sidenote: my elevator is broken.” See who responds. Keep those people as your friends. Those are the people that actually care about you. Those are the people that actually are your friends. If you haven’t talked to someone in over a year or so, why are they still your friends on Facebook? And maybe even a better question: why are they still your friends in life? Clearly you don’t really care about them that much or you would have at least made an attempt to talk to them within the past year. Think about it.
Do yourself a favor. Celebrate National Unfriend Day this year. Heck, celebrate it right now. It will make your life a lot less cluttered and make your Facebook page a lot less spammy-looking. Maybe you disagree with me and you think that everyone should stay connected so you can “remember your life better” or something along those lines. Maybe I’m wrong, who knows? Tell me in the comments below if you think I’m looking at it in the wrong perspective. I’m open to any and all feedback, positive or negative. But you know what? I think I might go try to delete a couple hundred more “friends” right now…
Exceptions to the rule: moms, dads, relatives, relatives’ friends, your boss, your clients, old best friends, and people who saved your life at any point in time.
You May Also Like
Matt: There is alot of common sense to what you are saying. Based upon your article, is it safe to say you use FB for personal relationships (except for boss)? I think you are correct in your perspective. I use FB as a place where I establish early stage or "Getting to Know You" phase relationships both for personal and business. I engage andearn Relationship Capital (RC) with every interaction as we move our relationship online thru KLTR or Know->Like->Trust->Refer Process based on kept-commitments and positive perceptions. One of my friends/business partners just accepted a job with a large bank because of my introduction so the process works for me. There is not cookie cutter formula for social media or FB, but what works for your "social life". Continued success and all the best. -Rob Peters
There are a few I might want to delete...but I don't have that many anyways...and if I did delete them, I probably wouldn't get "Raptured" when that happens...I would be a "Leftover"...
I must say I have had a FB account for about two and half years but only were friends with my daughters so I could monitor their friends, pics etc. I grew up here in Dallas and ALL of my family (brother, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins etc) all live within a 45 mile radius not to mention my mother and father both grew up here in Dallas and went to junior high and high school together. I trust you can see where I am going with this. I just didn't really want to cross all those lines (friends, family, work , church, neighbors etc etc.) However, I now work for a company that sales a product that we are moving via social media and Splash Media is working with us to promote this, so I decided I better learn a little bit more about Linkedin and FB. I must say I have only been on FB full throttle for about two weeks and I do get tired of a few folks posting everything they do throughout the day. On the positive side I am up to about 250 friends and do enjoy seeing their pictures, place of work and even where their kids go to school (k - college) that is what is neat about putting everyone together. As well as finding out how one of my relatives knows someone from my first grade class. It is also good to catch up with some of my old teammates and coaches from high school and college. Plus I think SOCIAL MEDIA is here to stay !!!!!
I totally agree with you and deleted about 30 people several months ago...could probably get rid of a few more...like the ones who post stuff about themselves in a crises or whatever. Then they get lots of notes from frantic friends and don't respond back...seriously? GOODBYE!
Matt, the title says, "how to..." but you don't really walk the reader through the how to unfriend on Facebook. You say why you unfriend which should be the title.
Distinguishing who we do and don't want in our space physically and now virtually is necessary. Determining the value of friends and how their value increases or decreases based on the quantity of your friends seems... well.. like an ungraceful and skewed perspective. If the FB user is feeling like they don't care I agree that they should remove the friend. But I don't think the FB user should waist any time determining which of their friends care about them based on Data from FB. I liked your post also. D