I am now about 300 friends lighter on Facebook. It feels great. I now have fewer friends than my grandmother does on her account. This was quite a feat to accomplish.
I was getting tired of just seeing what Facebook thought I wanted to see from people I hardly keep in contact with. In reality a lot of the people I was “friends” with I knew them but I wasn’t comfortable sharing with them.
It was time for a rehaul. I was either going to cut the cord on my account or be brutal and unfriend people. I choose to be brutally honest with myself on who was really my friend. I am sure some people won’t even realize that I am gone. I still have more “friends” to reevaluate but I wasn’t ready to break that connection (really it’s because I don’t want to start any drama) so for now they stay.
My method for “unfriending” is as follows:
1. Christmas card list. If I had unlimited funds would I send them a Christmas card?
2. Facebook Abuse. Does said person annoy me with what they share or say. Do they post a million times a day?
3. Do I look up to them? Some people I will admit that we are not close. However they remain because I admire them. They share great content and I would love to have them be my neighbor.
4. Family. Shockingly if you are a part of my extended family that does not mean you get a free pass to stay. Immediate family stays. Extended family is determined on if I can place you with the correct Aunt/Uncle, if we actually have ever talked, and/or if I think we are only “friends” because we are family. I know some cousins that I have tried to connect with however I get ignored, so yes I cut the online tie.
This isn’t to say that just because I “unfriended” somebody that I won’t talk to them in person. My account is used for close friends and family only. Not acquaintances. Once that bridge is crossed I will welcome them with open online arms.
Friendships are built on trust, mutual respect and shared interests. When I have a conversation with my friends we can talk for hours and hours. We talk about our highs and lows and all the stuff in between. There is no filter.
I read an article about online relationships, written by Steve Almond, and the concluding paragraph said, “That’s what I think we were mainly put on earth to do: tell our stories… But the version of ourselves we present via Facebook feels oddly airbrushed, a form of marketing more than true accounting of our lives. … But these apps are all about constructing a self, not revealing one.”
So here is my first step to trying to reveal myself, the good and the bad. Obviously some things will be left unsaid. But I can now share more with the people I know who are going to be there for me rather than those that might only be there to “like” me.