I recently re-activated the Facebook Unfriend Finder that I wrote about last winter, after discovering my wife was using a similar plug-in. Given my past paranoia over why certain people unfriended me, she thought it was a bad idea for me to use it. But I figured if she could use it, so could I. A few weeks in, here’s what I’ve learned.
Mood music (R.I.P. John Lord, keyboardist for Deep Purple):
When your friend count goes down, it’s usually not because you offended someone. It’s more likely because they deactivated their profile or because they never really knew you to begin with. When the Unfriend Finder alerts me to someone leaving my network, most of the time it’s because they de-activated their profile. I have gotten unfriended outright, but it’s usually someone who was only a remote connection who I never really talked to.
When you work in the media, it’s not uncommon to accept a lot of strangers into your network and vice versa. I’ll accept friend requests from strangers because I figure they’re looking for easy access to my security articles or this blog. Some will accept a friend request to see if they’re interested in the content you’re pushing and defriend when they decide they don’t want it. Fair enough.
Some of the strangers I’ve connected with have become good friends over time. That makes it all worth it to me because, as the saying goes, no man is a failure who has friends. Some folks have annoyed me with their political diatribes and mean-spirited jabs at others, so I’ve cut them loose. I excised someone yesterday, in fact.
For the most part, though, my core network has stuck around. That tells me all the worrying I did was for nothing.
In the final analysis, you can only be yourself in the social networking world. You can’t change for the sake of pleasing everyone. It’s better to take the occasional stand and be disagreed with than go along to get along. Maybe you are someone who should change because you tend to be a jerk online and off-. If you are, this post won’t inspire you to change.
A little something to consider when you see your connection count go down.