There's a lot of talk these days about people who are wanting to "quit" Facebook. Maybe it's a time suck. Maybe it's a privacy issue. Maybe it's just too much drama. Well, I say don't quit... just widdle down your friend list! It's both fun and freeing! Here's a little guide of how to decide who to purge from you social network.
Worth noting: I do not advocate purging immediate family members or people you frequently see in the real world (you know that place where you walk around and speak audibly with others). Purging people such as these tends to make life more difficult. How will you respond when one of these purged people comes up and says "Hey... did you leave FB? I don't see your posts anymore." (And you know they would do that... because if you unfriended them, it's probably because they're totally weird.) Can you say awkward dot com???
On with the purging!! These are the questions I ask when I'm in the mood to downsize my friend list:
1.) Have I seen them or wanted to see them in the last year? - Now we all have those friends from college and high school that we like to keep in touch with, so I'm not saying scrap them all. But if you haven't seen them in a year or more, and especially if you don't really care to see them in person, let them go.
2) Do they perpetually use Facebook for lamenting? - No one wants to be friends with someone who spends all of their Facebook posts complaining about poop... or their lack of boyfriend/girlfriend... or how work is the most horrible place in the world. Facebook should be a fun way to chill out after a long day of dealing with the above problems. Not a place where you beg for attention due to your terrible life. Get rid of those Debby Downers. They are crying for help in the WRONG place, and if you're not there to offer it... you best let 'em go. Don't bring me down, BRUCE!
3) Can you name their spouse/significant other/best friend? If you don't know at least one important personal fact about your FB friend... it might be time to let them go. Which brings me to #4...
4) Are they a Facebook lurker? - Lots of folks out there spend an inordinate amount of time on Facebook just lurking around and seeing what others are up to... but never actually updating their own status/photos/timeline or offering a silly tidbit of their life. I don't know about you guys... but these peeps FREAK ME OUT. If it seems as though they aren't using FB, but randomly they comment on stuff... well... that's a little odd. Stop stalking me unless I can mutually stalk you.
5) What kind of a friend are they in real life? - Are they a person you enjoy hanging out with? Or do they make you want to slam your head against the wall when you spend too much time around them? Yes, I'm here to tell you that you CAN purge these little wonders of nature. But be careful... some of these folks might be in the "see too frequently" or "family" categories that I mentioned earlier which is probably why you friended them in the first place. You might be better off blocking their posts from your feed.
6) Do their posts always piss you off? - This one is kinda like #2. I myself tend to be quite the potstirrer on Facebook (always posting some anti vaccination thing or some attachment parenting thing) but I also try to throw in some happy updates and silly statuses here and there. If your FB friend constantly posts things that anger you, don't waste your worry, just un-friend-away! I've been unfriended quite a few times for this one I think. Oops.
7) Would you attend their funeral? - People, if you don't care enough about your FB friends to at least attempt to make it to their funeral, maybe you shouldn't be a part of their online life. You know their friends, their problems, how many kids they have and that they'd really like to buy a dog by February, but boy howdy... you would NOT go to their funeral. You don't really need to know all that other stuff.
So there you have it... Kristi's Guide to Purging your FB Friendlist. I have the best time attempting to keep my list at or below 200 people. I challenge you to experience the joy of unfriending your "friends." Feel the freedom! Enjoy the click sound when you weed the garden of FB friends! Good luck, dear readers and please don't come find me on Facebook. :)