I enjoy Facebook. I really do. In fact there have probably been too many days where I have spent too much time on that site. (And that’s not necessarily a good thing.)
Facebook helps me:
- stay current with my mom, who – after living ten minutes away my kids’ whole lives – moved four hours away a few years ago.
- keep in touch or get in touch with other family members across the country
- likewise with good friends I don’t see as much as I’d like to in person
On the other hand, Facebook also:
- helps me find people I’d completely lost contact with, who I think I might like to catch up with, who I never spend any time talking to, sharing pictures with, commenting on statuses with and so on.
- allows me to add “friends who are passing through” and then wonder if, when and how I should unfriend them after they are gone.
- sometimes presents the opportunity to add a friend, acquaintance, or friend of a friend who I feel I *should* add out of guilt, peer pressure, not wanting to hurt their feelings or whatever. (Most of the time I don’t give in, I’ve always been very selective about my friends and kept my profile very private.)
As enjoyable as Facebook can be, something sullies the Facebook sweetness. Three things actually. So here it is.
3 Reasons Why I Purged Over 100 People From My Facebook Friends
1.) Too much input.
Remember the movie Short Circuit? “Need more input.” Yeah. Not so. In this case it was more like TMI, only not necessarily as gross as when someone in the bathroom stall at Wal-Mart talks about what they are doing. No, I’m just talking about information overload. Every single time I logged into Facebook (or nearly so), I would have over 300 recent items in my news feed. THREE HUNDRED. And I log into Facebook at least twice a day. Seriously. And no, I don’t play a ton of games, I don’t join every group and page that comes through and yes, I do hide other people’s game applications. And still: 300+.
As you can imagine, it would take a lot of time to go back through all those updates every time I logged in. Sometimes I do, and I lose a lot of time to Facebook (which my hubby doesn’t appreciate.) Usually I don’t and then invariably someone I am close to asks: “Hey, did you see the XYZ on my wall?” Most of the time the answer is no. So that whole “keeping me connected to my friends and family?” That’s pretty null and void at that point, isn’t it?
2.) Online Safety
Facebook is the only place that I share my kids’ names and pictures. I do this because 1.) as I mentioned before I selectively add friends there and 2.) I have everything on my personal page locked down tight as a bank vault.
Or do I?
Everytime Facebook adds a new feature, a new setting, it defaults to public. Now wait a minute! How much sense does that make?? Sure, I go in and change it. But the bottom line is that Facebook is making me jump through hoops to keep my page private. And in light of some of their recent changes from the last two updates, it seems like the more friends I have, the higher the odds that one or more of my friends is sharing information with their applications. So it makes sense to me to think “less friends = less friends sharing information with applications.” Right?
You could argue that I could just delete my account. I could. And at some point I may have to. For now, I’m happy to cut out people I’m no longer talking to or close with to keep my Facebook friends “close to home” so to speak. In the meantime, I still get to easily share photos and funny things with my mom, my grandmother, my mother in law, and so on.
Another thing, this article “Top Ten Reasons You Should Quit Facebook” really got me thinking. You should read it. (And the links within it.)
3.) Real Life Safety
Some friends of ours recently came home from a shopping trip to find their house and been robbed. We have no reason to think Facebook played any role in this but it got me thinking. REALLY thinking. Let’s play pretend for a moment.
Let’s PRETEND that I add a friend of a friend who I know vaguely, or an ex-coworker or some similar kind of acquaintance. Let’s pretend that John Doe Smith is really not a very trustworthy or upstanding character – but I really don’t know him well enough to know this. Let’s then pretend that over the course of a few months I talk about random things, like my new laptop I got for my birthday, the diamond bracelet I got for my anniversary and then to top it all off, lets say husband got a new 60 inch flat screen for Father’s Day. Then let’s pretend that I put up something totally casual like “Off to the parents for the weekend! Yay!” And this is more than John Doe Smith can take because he’s really quite the unscrupulous character. He happens to know where I live and also happens to be removed enough from our circle so as to probably not ever be suspected. (I mean, what are the odds that the police are going to question all 300 people on my Facebook list?) So he goes for it. And I come home to a vandalized and emptied house. And my kids are terrified for their safety when they go to bed at night.
Okay, so I admit that was a lot of pretending there. And most likely our friends’ experience didn’t have anything to do with Facebook. But it did make me stop and think about what I’m advertising on Facebook and who I am advertising it to. DO I TRUST EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN MY FACEBOOK FRIENDS LIST?
Do you trust yours?
So now my Facebook friends list is over 100 people lighter.
And not only that, but I also unliked many groups and pages that no longer meet or serve any of my purposes. How do you do that?
To unfriend a large group of people at one time, you need to go to your profile, click on ‘Account’ in the upper right corner, click on ‘Edit Friends’, click on ‘All Connections’ in the lefthand sidebar of that page. You’ll see all your groups, pages, friends all at the same time. Then just start clicking X’s and confirming! It’s as easy as cake. Or pie. Whichever you prefer. I like pie.
Go ahead. I dare you. Make your friends list a list of real friends. You’ll feel a hundred people lighter. And you might actually be able to keep up will all your real friends. Imagine that.
And for the record, all of my pretend stealable items were in fact pretend. However, if any companies or manufacturers of big screen tv’s want to give me one to try out for them, I’m available.
Also for the record, those are ranked in order of my concern – with number one being my main reason and so on. Just FYI.