Facebook Friend Culling

After watching The Social Dilemma I became overwhelmed with a desire to both spend less time on FB and also to lessen the # of friends I have on there. I explained this in my 10.11.2020 The Eleven newsletter thusly:

“Years ago I followed the advice of a fellow marketer regarding social media and accepted the friendships of thousands of people I didn’t know. The idea was that everyone would become an audience for my marketing business (part of which was teaching classes on how to use social media). Over the years my work has shifted away from social media, and after watching the new documentary The Social Dilemma, it occured to me that it is a great time to reconsider the # of “friends” I have = 4,470.
I recommend doing this next step
A couple days ago in FB I clicked on “friends”. From that viewpoint one can see all of the people one is connected to. Then, I started culling. I’m at 2,330. It’s interesting. Beyond saying goodbye to a lot of people I barely know (if at all), I’m also coming across people who I haven’t thought of in a while and am reaching out to say hi and reconnecting. I’ve always found FB useful as a networking/staying in touch tool.
I thought I’d share this since I’m finding the process interesting. If I’ve culled you and you want back in just send me a friend request :)”
—-

10.22.2020: 741 FB friends.ย  Some observations and upsides

  1. My FB newsfeed is entirely different now. It’s filled with postings from people I know. It’s also moving a lot more slowly. I still use FB Purity which allows one to customize your FB experience – for instance, I see things in the order they’re posted. Install this app and you will be a happier FB user = no advertising.
  2. Having so many FB friends played into some of my weaknesses. I kept a lot of people on there thinking – ah, potential date when that was really not the case ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Or, staying friends with certain celebrities – what actual good was that doing me?ย  I detached from a number of people who have close to 5K friends (actually, Michael Lerner who had 5,000 ๐Ÿ™‚ย  It’s not that I don’t love these people anymore, I just won’t see them in my newsfeed ๐Ÿ™‚ย  This is true for both the people who I never met and those who I did years and years ago – old HS connections who I have no reason to stay in touch with; people who I burned with or shared a night with on the playa in 2003… All great memories, and I still get to keep those and I know that I can always find people if I want to ๐Ÿ™‚
  3. There is definitely an addictive quality to FB like they talk about in the Social Dilemma, and as I unfriended people I could feel the pressure to not do this. FB actually makes it difficult to unfriend people. There’s a way they make the actual move to unfriend someone when you’re looking at your friends from the “friends” page difficult. The pull-down menu jiggles and is hard to actually click on!ย  They are so clever.ย  They also stopped me two times when I hit the “700 unfriendings in one day” limit. I got a message that my account had been blocked and I’d have to run through a series of steps to reconnect. It was super earrie, but I suppose not a bad thing, either.
  4. I also partly went through this effort to get to the other side and see what life is like for most people. I often hear from someone – you probably saw my recent important update on FB.ย  I never did. Never. So, perhaps now I’ll be a little more in touch with the people I’m closer with. We’ll see ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I partly want to really keep moving away from FB and towards more IRL experiences – even with Covid keeping us apart.
  5. FB is very useful for introducing people to one another. With a smaller group of friends I’ll probably be able to see people I’m closer to stand out more and be able to help them more. I just noticed when I posted this blog post to FB the people who popped up to respond were a closer set of friends than usual – and I was able to see the power of the people I’ve kept around.
  6. Oooh, this means that I’ll see a lot less people who’s birthday is today ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I love wishing people happy birthday and have an email that goes to those on my list on their birthday which people love. Now, way few people to wade through. Love this.
  7. Yeah, I think having my group of friends on FB be ones I’m closer with is going to be a good thing. Whew, a little relief there that this wasn’t a huge mistake ๐Ÿ™‚
  8. 10.23.2020: I’m noticing a few things I hadn’t noticed before. Way less notifications. Way less friends on-line to chat to. That part has gone from 3-500 people to 77 rightย  now 11:30am.

I’m sure I’ll add more insights to this article as I have them. I feel like I’ve just landed in a new place and I’m excited to see how it’s different. So far it feels calmer.

Downsides to doing this:

  1. A thought I’ve had over the years is that when I’m older (70+) I’ll probably want to spend more time reconnecting with people who titillated me once upon a time. I just said goodbye to lots of people, so I won’t have the easily-accessible group that I had 2 weeks ago to choose from.
  2. My FB live concerts will not reach as many people and have the chance to spread. I’ve noticed as I’ve played some recent FB live shows that I haven’t had the bigger audience I’ve become accustomed to. Oh well ๐Ÿ™‚
  3. My business offerings might not have as wide a reach via the newsfeed as they once did. Oh well ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Luckily, I’ve been building my email list like gangbusters over the years ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for listening. I’d love to know your thoughts. Please leave them in the comments area below.

Happy Facebooking. Happy living. Albert

PS – Next up, same thing for LinkedIn ๐Ÿ™‚

PPS – 10.23.2020 – Ooooh, under settings look what I found! More places to limit the FB monster’s reach into my life ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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