To hide or not to hide…
To delete or not to delete…
And, just where is that “limited profile” setting?
All questions we avid fb’ers (that’s facebookers to you neo-Luddites out there) face on a day-to-day basis.
My go-to solution? REMOVE CONNECTION: delete the “friend”! None of this “will they, won’t they” crap. I say: all in one motion, like a Band Aid, and the sting is minimized to nothing… the “Band Aid” may get a little torn in the process, but at least you’re free of its sticky annoyance (okay, I think I’ve ridden this metaphor as long as it’s gonna go ;)
Now, before you go and attack me for my knee-jerk reactionary style- a way of living I’ve been defending to friends and family for years now- let me try and explain why I believe the “delete the friend” option is the best and easiest way to live a happy facebook life… Hopefully by the end we’ll have trimmed that friends list of yours and I won’t be quite as hated as I’m worried I might end up being from past fb “friends”.
Let’s start with the easy question: how many friends do you have on facebook?… Take your time, I’ll wait ’till you check…
If it’s over 500: you have too many friends, and unless you’re Taylor Swift and you’re using this thing to keep fans updated on your every move, you do NOT need that many people tracking you and having access to you. Personally, I have 266 friends right now and I can happily say that not only have I in-person met all of them (save for maybe 3 who live out of country) but I wouldn’t duck them on the street either if I ran across them. No, this isn’t me bragging, it’s stating a fact about people I call “friends” that seems foreign to so many these days. While the excuse of “we met online and he lives in a different city” works for, oh, let’s say about 10 friends… After that, you start sounding like some wall-creeping, mutual-friend-adding wacko who not only doesn’t “feel the need” to meet people face-to-face but who also doesn’t need sunlight, or fresh air to operate: you sound like a net-hermit.
Back to the numbers game, anything in the high multiple hundreds range, and you start to sound like a friend collector who gets off on having 500+ randoms reading that you are “…about to catch up on True Blood; so excited!” (status update of the week by the way- way too many Jonny Come Latelys on that show ;). While this friend-obsession is most commonly attributed to budding teenagers of the female persuasion, I have often seen it in many of my fellow gays who can’t seem to say no to a friend request. Sure, most of my friends have the typical topless, muscle flexing, “this is the best I’m ever going to look” profile picture set up to attract poor, unsuspecting facehookers… but to just add any Tom, Dick and Harry who requests a friendship is akin to setting up a free webcam to your life and giving strangers you have no knowledge of, access to your life. Creepy and lame I say. PS. the excuse of “I don’t want to be mean and hurt someone’s feelings” does NOT work in this case… The likelihood is that this random dude from Amsterdam has friend requested 18 other near-nude gays that day and won’t even know that you declined the friend request. Or, if it is someone you know but aren’t actually friends with, then this is the easiest way of saying: “Stop coming up to me and my friends at the club and asking us if we love this DJ… I’m just not that into you!” Leading people on isn’t just for pretty cheerleaders anymore!
The “hide” option. Now, this one I do admit to using… FREQUENTLY. In all honesty, I allow my news feed to let through about 25% of my friends’ updates. I’ve hit that “hide” button on so many people after even just one stupid status update about “…using the Secret to take control of things” that I was afraid facebook was going to ask me if I even like my friends at all. Yes, I do love em’ all… but sometimes they say super sub-par things on their status and it hurts my head. For the sake of our ACTUAL friendship, I need to ensure I never see even one more of those self-affirmations again! (They didn’t work for Charlotte and they ain’t gonna work for you!). Personally, I like to think my updates are more entertaining than “Adam is eating ice cream”- I put some actual thought into that 2 sentence update, knowing it represents me for the day… though, if I were to find out I’m on multiple friends’ “hide lists” that wouldn’t surprise or bother me at all! Gotta be able to take as good as I give! Furthermore, people who abuse the status update option and feel the need to inundate my news feed with hourly reports of the banal of their life are also banished to the land of “hide”… there’s only so much I can hear about you, please!
Returning to the title of this article: the discovery that you suddenly have the option to add a friend you thought already was on your list… Yes, you’ve been deleted; no, this isn’t the time to cry about it. Not all deletions occur for personal or emotionally dramatic reasons. Sometimes it’s just a numbers game, sometimes it’s an accident, and sometimes you just need to realize that maybe that person didn’t consider you as close a friend as you thought they did. If you happen to be on the deleter side of this situation and you are confronted by a recently removed-by-your-doing friend… here’s my line for escaping the wrath of a bitchy queen or an emotional, straight girl who thought she’d discovered her new fag to hag…
Oh hey! What? Delete you? No, haha, you’re way too cute for me to do that! I have this application that deletes people off my friends list if I don’t have contact with them in over a month! I was getting SO many people on my friends list and I couldn’t keep up with all the updates that I signed up for the app and it’s emaciated my list recently! I’ll tell it that you certainly don’t apply to that condition! How are you…?
You, then don’t re-add them as a friend yourself- hoping they’ll get the hint- but if THEY do the re-adding, you must accept, but wait 2 weeks and remove them again… By then, the “hint” will become a silent British-nanny-baby-shake that no one can ignore.
I know, I sound like a jerk. But, really, how many times have you had random posts on your wall from “friends” that were either rude and out of nowhere or creepy and made fun of by your friends in a thread that contains a collection of copy and pasted posts from randoms on your wall…? (Maybe it’s just our friends that do that? :) The amount of times I’ve heard a friend say: “Who is this who just wrote this on my wall?” makes me cringe- it’s a question to which I always reply, without fail: “That’s YOUR ‘friend!’” Often I’ve heard arguments for the “limited profile” option in this case… Quit with the ambivalence! You’re either friends with this person or not- no in between. While I grant that option works for work-mates or certain family members, do not make this your “out” when confronted by an idiot on your friend list: cut the cord mommy-dearest!
What I call “the great facebook purge” really ought to be done monthly as you slowly realize you don’t really need to stay in contact with that girl who sat next to you in grade 6 or with that dude who you added as a friend in order to see the rest of his pics only to realize his profile shot was deceiving and he wasn’t the cute guy in the foreground: he was the passed out, emo kid in the back of the photo.
As I end this article, I realize this might prompt a few of my “friends” to delete me… but hey, at least they’ll be trimming their list and I’m willing to see that as a victory!