Facebook Friends: A True Story

Some of you may recall from an earlier post, Facebook Friends, that I keep my friend count under 50. Recently, I ran into a former FB friend who didn’t make the cut and had been deleted months ago.  We exchanged pleasantries and then he said something like, “I’ll be sure to send you out a notice for my next show on FB. We’re friends, right?”

um…er…an uncomfortable pause followed while my brain worked feverishly to find a tactful way to explain my “under-50 rule” without sounding like a nut.  When deleting phone or email contacts it’s easy to explain that your new phone didn’t transfer everything properly. Or your email got hacked and it affected the contacts list.  FB is synchronous, meaning if you friend somebody they friend you back automatically, so lost devices or hacking don’t really work as explanations.

Considering my options, I went with partial honesty.  I explained that if I don’t hear from somebody in a year I remove him/her as a friend.  He didn’t appear to take it personally and honestly I don’t see why he would care.  The only communication we ever had on FB was the initial friend request.  What kind of a “friend” is that?

I know that some of my readers are squeamish about deleting FB “friends” because they’re afraid of hurting the other person’s feelings.  Consequently, many of them don’t enjoy using FB, or they’ve stopped using it, because they’re not connecting with quality people.  Someone told me that he accepted his boss’s friend request and then didn’t enjoy using FB because he felt uncomfortable. What’s the point of that?

Your FB account is for you and you should cultivate FB friends the same way as in-person friends: if they don’t bring you value, get rid of them.  Unfriending is easy, way easier than in real life.  I find most “unfriended” people either don’t notice, or don’t care, because there probably wasn’t much of a connection to begin with, unless they have the Unfriend Finder.  Admittedly, the run-in was a tad awkward, but we got over it and had a pleasant conversation which was more contact than we ever had during our year of FB “friendship”.

Today’s challenge: Unfriend one FB “friend” that prevents you from enjoying your account.


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