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Monday, April 22, 2013

Facebook *Friends* and Other Soul-Searching Fun


It's another Monday already, and Mondays are when I promise myself I'll tackle an unpleasant chore or make some sweeping change. Today I'm facing both by dealing with something I've been dreading for a while.
It's time to cull my Facebook list. 

I've never dared do this on Facebook before. People seem to take it a lot more personally there than on Twitter. Maybe because the terminology "unfriending" sounds so much more hostile than "unfollowing". I don't know. Because I didn't ever want to seem rude, I've kept around a lot of folks. Now, the gloves have got to come off.

I currently have upward of 440 friends, far below the dreaded 2k ceiling. Hitting the limit isn't my worry, however. It's keeping up with folks in my stream. Unfortunately, far too many great people get shoved into oblivion by constant updates on book or product releases, reviews, works in progress, shameless requests for votes/purchases/shares/likes, political stances, and sales links. It's like self-promotion went on steroids and developed a bad case of 'roid rage. A bulk of these people never interact with me and appear unaware that I exist.

Enough's enough.

I knew this day was coming and tried to head it off. I stopped approving most friend requests months ago. I've tried lumping certain folks into groups, but then I'm jumping from one to the other to the next--more time consuming than simply daring to peek at my main feed. I've used the suggestion of "hiding" problem friends from the news feed, but I don't see the point. It feels like such a cheat, somehow, being that one-sided (although I have no problem not following back on Twitter if the user comes off looking like a sales machine). Twitter is different. Facebook is friends, not food. Please don't devour the stream.

In real life, I do not have over 400 "friends". My last name is not Kardashian. I'm a wife/mother/writer/worker with no time to juggle that kind of social calendar. Facebook is no different. If I have to block someone's news, I'm not being a *friend*. And if I can't interact with someone because I keep missing their updates, we're both missing out. I'm sure there are social media hounds out there who will disagree with this philosophy, but I realized some time ago that I'm not on Facebook to sell. Oh, I give my horn a little toot now and again, but I use other venues for most of that. For me, 90% of Facebook is about having a place to take a break from the author mill and get to know people. And I'd like my list to be populated with those who feel the same.

So I'm staring at my friend list, knowing what I have to do.  I hope I get through it this time without telling myself, "Just wait until next Monday." 

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On Mondays I gab about, well, pretty much whatever I want!
I'm J. Rose Allister, wife, working mom, and the author of over twenty-five books. Somewhere in between one and the next, I love hanging out here on my blog and over on Twitter. Give me a comment or follow-I love chatting with people!

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