Several weeks ago, I made the decision to implement a ‘friend rule’ on Facebook, where I disconnected from anyone that I had not personally met in real life at least 2 times. You can read the post here, to get an idea of why I did this. After several weeks of this limited use, I’m honestly not sure what I think about it.
There are some clear benefits, for sure. Most of my online contacts use services such as Ping.FM and others that automatically update both your Facebook and Twitter status at the same time. As such, removing these folks from my Facebook ‘friends’ list has gone a long way to declutter my stalkerfeed (that’s what I like to call it), and bring forth the more meaningful updates from people that I’ve connected with in real life.
Similarly, I’ve noticed a big decrease in the number of silly app invites/requests that I get. No, I don’t want to throw a sheep, be a ninja, or join the mafia. I’m actually surprised at this discovery, as I certainly assumed the ‘unwashed masses’ who are not constantly connected would more easily fall prey to these types of online ‘apps’. It seems the uber-connected among us simply can’t resist.
However, I’ve also noticed a feeling that I’m missing out on some great feature of Facebook. As part of this little experiment, I’ve also restricted my use of ‘fan pages’. This actually turned out nice, because I’ve noticed recently, there is a major influx of random, silly ‘fan pages’, such as becoming a fan of summer, the radio, ice cream, and any other random thing. I don’t know what exactly it is that I would be missing out on, but I can’t help the feeling, anyways, if you know what I mean.
In any case, I believe that I’ve decided to re-assess my Facebook policy. I’m going to be frank about it – if we’re ‘internet friends’, sure, I’ll add you. However, if you start annoying me, I’m going to remove you, and I’m not going to feel bad about it, either. It’s *my* social network, and that means I get to decide who’s in there and who’s not.
This is different than on Twitter, where I’m ‘connected’ with hundreds of folks that I don’t know, and whose updates annoy the crap out of me. However, most of them, I’m connected with for another reason. It might be that once a day, they have a great tweet. It might be that they work somewhere like Nokia, where I’m interested in keeping them on my list, just in case they say something smart/cool/funny/interesting.
I’m going to continue to monitor my Facebook experience, though. Facebook is fascinating to me because it seems as though the default use is to connect with anyone and everyone on there, and to click every link you see, thereby adding countless time-wasting games and whatnot to your ‘profile’. However, I firmly believe that, since it’s *MY* profile, I should exercise some control over what’s on there.
I’m interested to know, how do YOU use Facebook? Do you think I’m being too conservative with my usage, specifically as a Social Media…person?