This has been a really great week in a lot of ways, but it has been absolutely exhausting too. I have definitely not been able to focus very much. We had a launch party for my office in Portland, and that meant we had quite a few people in from out of town and a lot of late nights. It was all an amazing time, but it’s good to be back to the blog.

In all of the hubbub, I completely missed National Unfriend Day (NUD for short), but fortunately, you can celebrate NUD whenever you like. The question really becomes, why should I delete these “friends?”

I think the more important question is, “why did I ever add these people at all?” Facebook has created an entirely new realm of social etiquette, and part of that etiquette appears to be that you should accept all friend requests unless they are from a stalker or a serial killer. I know I’ve been guilty of accepting a friend request and then immediately hiding that person from my feed. I’m sure someone out there has done that to me as well. Wouldn’t we all be better off if we just didn’t pretend to like each other in the first place?

What’s more, these people can end up being a source of stress in your life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a status update from someone I barely remember about politics or religion that really got under my skin. I usually spend a few minutes trying to decide if I should respond to whatever idiocy they’ve put out there, and then I remember that I don’t even know this person. I sat beside them in 3rd grade once, or we went to the same college, but that’s about it. It’s a ridiculous source of stress, and one that is completely caused by social media.

So, I took Jimmy Kimmel’s advice, and I’ve unfriended. It’s time for us to admit that if we don’t keep in touch with someone, there was a very good reason we parted ways. We are not part of each other’s peer group. We don’t like the same things or have the same goals. We are politically and philosophically different in many ways, and obviously didn’t get along well enough in real life to sustain our friendship. It’s nothing personal, but these people have to go.

I had 487 Facebook friends. That is a lot of people, but I justified that number by saying that I did indeed know all of these people in real life at some point. But most of them were blasts from the past, often people I never spoke to at all in high school and haven’t seen since. So after my first round of purging, I’m down to 431 friends. I know that doesn’t seem like a huge change, but that’s over 10% of my list gone. I would wager that everyone reading this could easily cut their Facebook friends list by 10% and not even notice the difference.

I will likely go back through this list a few more times and raise the friendship bar a little higher for folks to stay on my list. Did anyone else participate in NUD? If so, how many friends did you chop?

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