Facebook has gotten so big that we know people who barely use it anymore because they have too many friends.
Well, “Facebook Friends,” that is.
Which is like saying Kim Kardashian has millions of “Followers” on Instagram, rather than “Shocked Spectators and Spiritless Perverts.”
Facebook is by no means suffering, but many of its users are and the pain looks like a ton of eye-rolls, constant head-shakes, and an Oscar-worthy refinement of the “WTF?!” face.
Unfortunately, many of us have been too bold over the years with our use of the “Add” and “Accept” commands. Friends of friends, old work colleagues, drunken make-outs, and ex’s siblings are flying around our Friend lists, clogging up our Newsfeeds, and unexpectedly slapping their big blue thumbs on our vacation pictures.
Well, we say it’s time for a purge.
But with 4-digit numbers, the friend purge can seem like a rather unfriendly task. It’s critical that you have a few solid techniques for identifying a combination of the people with whom you are not “real” friends and those most likely to be annoying and inappropriate.
So here are those techniques.
And happy purging.
Chronic Event & Page Inviters
Real friends don’t invite you to attend dumb events and to ‘Like’ pages because they have a pal who started a thing. This kind of behavior is generally found at the hands of people who add Facebook friends with the intent and nature to market stuff. There’s nothing wrong with promoting and supporting small business, but once it hits chronic status, they might as well be an actual advertisement, not a “Friend”.
Mutual Friends of People You Can’t Stand
Think of 3-5 people you can barely tolerate without getting dry heaves; find them on Facebook. Now look at your mutual friends. Fish in a barrel.
“Got Married” and You Had No Clue They Were Even “In a Relationship”
Oh, don’t feel bad; how is someone supposed to keep track of over a thousand boyfriends and girlfriends? It’s impossible. But be honest. Seeing that someone just got married when you had no idea if they were even alive, let alone dating someone, may be a moment of genuine delight, but it should also be a moment of reality; you two are probably not “Friends”.
You Thought, “Weird…” When They Liked or Commented on Your Photo
It doesn’t matter why you thought that; if someone is a real friend with no weird baggage attached, you would never be thrown off by their decision to publicly endorse something you decided to publicly share. This is a sure sign that they should have been on the chopping block months ago, if not years.
People You Met “Travelling”
We totally believe that you had fun in Peru with Fjord Backpackensøn in ’04. But let’s be honest; you’re never going to see them again. Feel free to drop a few of these “Friends” along with the 1 “Mutual” friend who lent you his guitar at the beach.
Ex Work Acquaintances
It’s usually a fine idea to draw a line between your work world and your social world – or at least the pictures of your social world – so if you were at some point pressured into adding office acquaintances on Facebook, now’s a good time to redraw that line. If these are people with whom you actually plan on one day grabbing dinner or coffee, then sure, keep them around. Otherwise LinkedIn will do the trick.
Their Baby Photos Annoy You
If you actually like someone and are friends with them, you will more than likely find their babies cute and not mind seeing photos of naps and ironically posh outfits. But if you feel like someone is generally obnoxious and petty, their children will probably inherit your resentment and have you intentionally not liking their photos in an attempt to silently discourage their posting habits. Especially if they’re not even that cute. It’s not the child’s fault; they don’t know any better. But you do.