Since last year I have been ‘defriending’ people on Facebook. Now that may sound pretty harsh at first, but I have my reason.
I wanted to create a more personal experience for me.
After all, it is our personal attitude toward any social network that sets the tempo for our experience right? Happiness matters in networks and I wasn’t happy with what my Facebook had become. I was surprised to learn that women are leading the Facebook unfriending trend.
Now, I have unfriended / defriended people for many reasons – narrow minded comments, unethical behavior, trolling, harvesting contacts . . . you get the idea, but this was different. I began to unfriend people I know.
Sounds crazy right?
Isn’t the point of Facebook to connect with people you know and people you want to know?
I’ll say yes with a but wiggled in.
The but is :: with the plethora of social media sites we use on a daily basis – when did it become the norm that we have to be connected to everyone we know across all platforms?
Granted, a few years ago there weren’t that many social networks on the scene – but as new social sites constantly vie for our attention and we find ourselves with growing options, how we use each one continues to change.
I sat down and took inventory of each social site I was using, the new social sites that were available and whether or not I personally wanted to use them. During this process I wondered if I was the only one narrowing my focus and altering the way I used social sites like Facebook . . . the answer? NO!
I felt relieved that I wasn’t the only one that wasn’t enjoying Facebook as much as I once did due to a blurring of the personal and professional lines. Even though Unfriending and private profiles are the new trend it seems Facebook is trying to slow the “unfriending” trend with Acquaintances. Heck, even with all of Facebook’s efforts to keep us all connected many are deleting their Facebook accounts all together!
I didn’t want to delete my account and I didn’t want to convert my profile to a page or create a list, but I knew that I had to do something.
I created a Facebook page and began posting occasionally to my private profile, Twitter and Linkedin that I was taking my Facebook profile down to close friends, family and mentors only.
It’s been over 8 months now and I can tell you that unfriending someone is something they take very personally. Sometimes they just can’t grasp the ‘close friends, family and mentors only’ bit especially since I am still in the process of cultivating my new environment on Facebook.
There have been a few that I am connected with on other social sites that quit talking to me altogether when I unfriended them on Facebook. . . I’m guessing they didn’t see the posts, tweets and updates about my goal to create a more personal experience. To me is is so strange that the simple act of unfriending can send some people off the deep end. I just don’t like the idea of feeling bullied, pressured or threatened into being “friends” with someone I don’t want to be. Do you?
Do I regret my decision to begin unfriending vs. creating an acquaintance list to create a better experience for myself?
NO. I did everything I could to let people know of my intentions. Eventually I stopped worrying about offending those people I unfriended.
Those who truly care about me and understand and respect my decision will continue to talk to me via twitter or my professional profile page on facebook, or even pick up the phone, send me an email or have lunch with me . . . those who don’t – well, I guess they weren’t my “friends” after all.
How are you changing the way you use social networking sites like Facebook now that there are more options?
What has been you experience separating your personal and professional relationships online?