I sat on the couch with my iPad and looked at the list. There were a lot in that gray area. How to decide? I decided to do it in rounds using a set criteria. Some people who made the first cut didn't make the second. I started first with the obvious. The people who I really don't know. You know, my sister's high school friend. Or the guy who knew my family as a kid. After I got started, it was pretty easy. The next criteria was people I knew from high school that I don't have a relationship with or don't really care that much about their lives. Of course, I had a few people that remained in that gray area. I figure I can always whack them later.
My husband was laughing at me as I was doing this, especially with the commentary that went along with it. "You were mean and still are. Whack." "You act crazy! Whack!" "I remember your name from high school, but that is it. Good riddance." "You are pretty nice, you can stay." "Love your posts, keep."
I added that maybe I needed a couple drinks and my husband said then I would really have balls. Heck, if my husband doesn't know by now that I have balls, I guess he never will. (He snickered after reading this.) After all, I am the one already whacking my friend list, not him.
So, today, I am talking on the phone to my dear, life-long friend, Tracy. She was laughing her heiny off when I was telling her how I played whack-a-friend, and said she was going to do the same. She opened up her Facebook and started her purge. We laughed the entire time and she exclaimed that it was so "liberating."
It is liberating. Why do we have all these "friends" on Facebook? I know for some people, it is a numbers thing. You are more important if you have more friends. Now that's a joke and definitely not why I had these people as friends. I think in my case, if I got the friend request, I would see the name and think, "Oh yeah, I wonder how they are doing." I know a lot of times I thought, "Really? They want me to be friends with them? Okay, whatever."
Well, I am done with the lackadaisical attitude. I am not accepting any friend requests unless I don't see you on a regular basis or you are someone from my past that I really want to be in contact with.
When I was doing this, my husband said I was motivating him to do the same. I realized while talking to Tracy, that maybe people just need someone who has the balls to do it to start a movement. So, with the new year, I have declared this National Facebook Friend Purge week. Really, do you need these "friends?" Start purging them. And, make sure you "purge it forward" by encouraging at least one other person to purge. In fact, you may want to post this (after you purged your "friends," of course),
"It's a new year and time to clean up. It is National Facebook Purge Week. Go through your list of Facebook friends and clean up. The goal is to have as few REAL friends as possible on Facebook. After doing so, re-post this and encourage your friends to purge it forward."Here are a few simple steps to help you get started. First, plan to do it in rounds. Set a criteria for each round. Ask questions and based up on the response, whack the person or keep them. Here are some questions to consider:
- Do I even know this person?
- Can I tell you, without looking at their profile, one thing about this person (other than their name)?
- Do I have any need for this person in my life?
- Can I foresee any reason I would need contact with this person in the future?
- Do I really care about this person's day to day activities?
- Does this person post every minute detail of their day? (I guess I will never see the post where my "friend" took a huge crap at 10am now. Darn.)
- Do you have a relationship with this person?
- I know you personally and you are a true friend
- You are family (dang--would like to whack some of them)
- I know you somewhat but like you and like what you have to say