Why I “Unfriended” 100 People In One Night?

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Well for starters, how many of you know, “Who all your Facebook friends are?” I admit. I know I didn’t up until recently.

I’ve done a lot of thinking recently about how I’ve used Facebook over the years. I’m not particularly fond about how Facebook is evolved. But like so many others, I know I could never just delete my personal account. Let’s face it– I’m connected to about 95% of my friends on Facebook. I have photos, entire conversations and let’s face it, memories all posted on my profile page for everyone to see.

For the longest time, I wasn’t very selective about who I allowed to be my friends on Facebook. If I met you at a party freshmen year of college, there’s a good chance the next day I’d send you a Facebook invite. Now, this probably wasn’t the brightest idea. I literally was connected to tons of people on Facebook, who I didn’t really know. I was friending some people based on how THEY ACTED ON ONE DAY.  Then, for the longest time, I just kept them on my friend list. Fearing that I would be “rude” to “unfriend” them.

It took a couple of awkward messages, wall posts and invites to make me realize the error of my ways. And last week, I finally got the willpower to just spend a few hours and literally sort through my entire friend list. I went through my 450 something Facebook “friends” and I was shocked by who I invited to be my “friend.” I narrowed down the list to about 315 “friends.” That’s still a lot, but it’s more manageable and it gives me the peace of mind to know exactly who is seeing my profile. After all, I’m sharing my PERSONAL INFORMATION. I have the right to decide who to “friend” and who to “unfriend.” I want to emphasize this point. No one is forcing you to accept that friend request. You are the gatekeeper for your Facebook information, so choose wisely.

This little Facebook experiment proved to be very useful. I encourage everyone else to go through their list and see who they are “friends” with. I can guarantee you will find some surprises. Go ahead with it! Follow through with that mass Facebook “friend” purge.

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About the author

Jessica Malnik

6 comments

  • It can be a very refreshing thing to take a close eye at your FB friends and filter them accordingly! We’re all getting a reality check that FB isn’t automatically the safest, most private place to host all your memories, unless you work to make it so. Even then…

    I’m curious to know if you’ve received any messages from those who you’ve defriended–or if they’ve even noticed.

    • Hi, Becky! Thanks for taking the time to comment on my post. I think the reason why I waited so long to “unfriend” people was because I had the fear of getting invites and messages from those I de-friended. It turns out it really hasn’t been a problem. I’ve gotten a few awkward invites, but I’m just choosing to ignore. I’m trying to work to reclaim and filter my Facebook profile.

  • Great post Jess. I think this is something I probably need to do. I’m up near the 1,000 mark for “friends” on Facebook. However, I’ve long had that same policy you described above; if I know you, or we’ve met briefly in the past and then connected on Facebook, I probably need to pull the plug.

    I’m OK with the privacy things on Facebook, but that’s a debate we’ve had before…and I’m sure we’ll have again at some point. 🙂 That said, I still need to see who I’m sharing info with directly.

  • Jessica, I went through a similar thing with Twitter … and lived to tell about it! Here’s the post I did … you’ve balanced out the other side of the equation here with the Facebook story.

    http://bropoulos.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/following-friends-and-followers-the-politics-etiquette-and-tactics-of-relationships-via-social-media/

    Now who is going to tackle LinkedIn??

    I think the bottom line is, we can all be a little more discriminating but also embrace opportunities to meet new people and understand new perspectives. As in all things, balance.

    Cheers!
    Brenda

    • So Brenda, I thought your blog post was spot on. I couldn’t agree more with your idea of a finding the right balance. We need to be able to embrace new opportunities and meet new people, but we also need to be careful about who we let into our “social circle.” It’s something I’m still struggling to find out on Facebook. I was so open to accepting friend requests before and now I’m figuring out the errors of my ways.

      By the way, I didn’t even realize that you had a blog until now. I definitely will be adding you to my Google Reader. Great post. Thanks for commenting on my blog.