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My name's Joel Kelly and I live in Halifax, NS.

I'm a 20something guy doing digital and social media strategy for a Halifax-based marketing agency.

I'm a vegan nerd and marketing asshole.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Unfriend Someone Today

How-To Unfriend Someone Now Available

What utility is a social network if you can't use it to be genuinely social, to actually experience it as a gathering of friends? If you are using social networks as a competition, taking the Pokemon-ish "Gotta catch 'em all" approach, at what point is it still useful to you?

Can you be honest with your status updates? Do you have to wonder whether the pictures you post might be incriminating? Is your profile wide open for the world to view and judge?

I'm not advocating being paranoid about what you do online. I'm suggesting that you arrange your online affairs in such a way that you don't have to be paranoid. "Friend" doesn't mean "acquaintance whose name you can barely recall." It means someone you care about, someone you care about knowing and dealing with on a regular basis. Someone you can count on and can count on you.

Social networks become a liability when you constantly have to maintain relationships out of obligation instead of interest.

If you had a personal crisis dealing with a sensitive personal issue and you needed to contact your all close friends right away, could you post it as your Facebook status? Or would you have to manually select which of your "Friends" are actually close enough to you to learn about it, and send them a Message instead?

Then how is Facebook any better than an email list?

Unfriend someone today. It's good for you.


Ben said...

This is why Facebook pisses me off so much. I was all about it until it became a rabid showcase of exactly how many people you can check off a list of having been introduced in order to add them to the obscene lists of friends. That's not doing the connectivity portion of social networking any justice...that's just a juvenile attempt at looking popular.


Joel Kelly said...

Precisely. But if you take a firm stand that your friends list is just for real, actual friends, Facebook is amazing. I love using it because I'm keeping in touch with people I actually know and like.

Oh, and having a firm "Two application requests and you're unfriended" rule helps, too.

Lauren Oostveen said...

As someone who recently went through my "friends list" and took off close to fifty people, I very much agree with your post. Out of ~200ish friends I keep on facebook, I routinely only talk to around twenty.