We’re a little late for spring cleaning. Summer cleaning, if you’re in the northern hemisphere.
I recently had an ugly run-in with someone I didn’t know. This was through Facebook. I ended up having to block her. I was surprised to find that 7 of my friends were friends with her.
And then I wondered, “Are they REALLY friends with her? Do they know her in person? Like her? Do they enjoy her posts and following her online world?”
Go Through Your Facebook Friends Today
One of my Facebook friends has a policy of unfriending or not adding anybody to whom you wouldn’t wish a happy birthday. I’m going to go a few steps farther, and suggest these steps. It’s like “you might be a redneck if…”
You should unfriend (or never friend in the first place) someone if:
- You have hidden him or her entirely from your news feed. That’s not your friend. Remove.
- You have never visited his or her individual Facebook page to see what he or she is up to. Sounds like you don’t care too much!
- You have ever had to remove something this person said from your wall or in comments under a post. Probably not your friend.
- You accepted their friend request because you thought you had to or were afraid of repercussions if you didn’t. You’re an adult. This is Facebook. Face the music and remove anybody who isn’t really your friend.
- You watched someone do something bat shit crazy that made you see them in a whole new way. Normally for me, this is when someone who I think is my friend comes out with some public declaration like, “The Mexicans are responsible for all Tucson crime,” or “I hate every Muslim on the planet.” I strongly disagree with those, and know those people won’t make good friends for me. Remove.
- You didn’t mark this person as a Close Friend in Facebook.
- Do they have your back? If something serious or bad went down in your life, would they care? Would you want them to know about it? Would they visit you in a hospital if they lived nearby? Would you invite them to your wedding? Would they come to your funeral?
- You don’t know them in real life and/or you don’t really trust them. Think about how much stuff Facebook friends get to know about you. If they were fake accounts or scammers or criminals or just jerks, they probably know where you live, what you look like, what your family looks like, when you’re home, when you’re not home, etc… Remember that thanks to Facebook’s “graph,” your Facebook friends (who are strangers to me and possibly to you) see things about me through OUR connection. Please don’t be careless with your personal details OR with mine!
- Bonus: You don’t know them in real life, the picture is a young hot woman, and you have no mutual friends. Totally remove. Hot chicks might look good, but that’s a scam account.
It can seem scary but it’s really good to give your Facebook account a total enema. Time to clean out the people who really shouldn’t be there. And you don’t have to give them an explanation. A few years ago, I cut 200 people who fit the above criteria. I gave them no explanation or message. Only one asked to come back, and I said OK.
I treat my Facebook as my “nearly inner circle,” and I talk about personal things. I then have my really inner circle, which is a secret Facebook group of about 20 people who hear the whole story. My friends are spread out around the world, so I’ve found this to be the easiest way to keep up with people, especially the really inner circle when something super good or super bad happens.
Everybody else can follow my public posts like it’s Twitter. I don’t want or need to open up my life to people I don’t know or trust. I especially don’t need to open up my info or my friends’ info to people I’ve never even heard of.
There are no prizes for most Facebook friends. Some people I know said they added strangers that sent friend requests in the hopes of having just another person to promote their business to. Well guess what. That stranger doesn’t care. He or she is mostly there to mine your info and then my info through the graph. So while you assumed a stranger adding you on Facebook was a potential customer for you, you just opened both of us to more scams and spams.
What are you waiting for. Go unfriend!