I reluctantly joined Facebook a little over a year ago after caving into some hard-core peer pressure. (Yes, I know...I'm weak, so weak)! Relatively quickly I got back into contact with a ton of old friends and even some former really great friends who I had just lost contact with over the years. It was nice catching up, hearing about what was going on in their lives, and going through pictures of their kids. It felt like the past 10-15 years had been condensed into a high-light reel, which is many instances is a good thing.
But then I started getting friend requests from people I barely knew in high school and/or college. My first instinct was to reject the friend request, but I figured that might be too mean, so I started approving everyone. You know, it just seems a bit ridiculous though that if I never spoke to you or you me in real life that we are all of a sudden Facebook pals.
Then for some of these people (and in all honesty some actual friends as well) their Facebook page became the place for them to rant about politics or religion or the state of education and on and on and on. Truthfully, that is the part I HATE, LOATHE, DESPISE about Facebook. I started hiding "these people" from my news feed and then I started deleting them as friends. The one good thing about Facebook is that when you defriend someone they don't send out a notice announcing that a defriending has taken place. I can just slink quietly away and hope they forget about me and our Facebook friendship.
I have thought regularly about deleting my account entirely, but then realized I would miss the updates from actual friends who live half a world away. It is a quick, easy way to keep in touch with people I am friends with in "real life" and I wouldn't want to sacrifice that because of a few annoyances.
So, today I bravely logged on and started deleting "friends." My criteria was simply two-fold: a)If we weren't friends or spoke on a regular basis in real life then you were cut; b)If we haven't communicated regularly through Facebook in the past 6 months you were cut. At first I was super hesitant to hit that "delete friend" button. Pretty soon though I had deleted around 30 people and here, five minutes later, I probably couldn't tell you one of their names. It felt freeing, liberating!
Are you on Facebook? Do you occasionally "weed out" friends?