We’ve all seen (or maybe posted) the yearly “friend clean-up” status on Facebook.
“Ok, I’m going through my friends list and deleting anyone I haven’t talked to in the last six months.”
When I entered into the adult life that is called a career, I began to try to organize certain aspects of my life I thought needed some attention. I looked at my closet and got rid of (most of) my graphic tees. I stood in tears at the foot of my bed and decided to replace my purple sheets with some expensive linen, (which really didn’t make much of a difference considering I still sleep with an E.T. stuffed animal.) The plastic plates in my cupboard turned to glass and I slowly became part of the working class. But upon reflection of what else I needed to “upgrade”, I felt like social media was an off-limits place I was afraid to touch.
I can be transparent with my real-life friends about wanting a fresh start, about simply staying in touch with people who build me up rather than down. These friends understand that I make an effort to keep them around, and they’re grateful for it. But when it comes to social media, I can’t say I’ve spoken to more than half of my “friends” in the last year. Surely I could make a few cuts to my 2,000+ friend list.
I decided to put this idea into play, and came out with a little bit more positivity on my feed and a lot less drama.
The Cut List
1. The Argument-Lover
It’s no surprise that a liberal, self-employed freelancer has a lot of time on his hands. Granted some valid opinions come up every once in a while, seeing a 3-paragraph status arguing a very controversial topic in a long string of 78 comments does not allow me to “skim” my News Feed to see what’s up with my friends today. I’ve found that the “hide” button does well with this sort of thing because although you still like to check-in and get your squabble on every once in a while, you don’t have to see the daily controversy all over your home page.
2. The Affirmation-Seeker
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if social media was nonexistent. This person’s status usually reads something like: “Why is it so hard to meet people that care about me?” This often leads to a slew of encouraging strangers commenting things like “omg you know I care about you girl. Call me anytime.”
I understand needing a little reassurance every once in a while, Lord knows I’ve been there. But I don’t believe a public post to social media is the cry for help I would lean towards. If I feel obliged to throw in a little comfort, I’ll do so. But most of the time it’s better to let this friend figure it out on their own.
3. The TMI-Coworker
Please, for the love of the workplace, don’t tell me you had two glasses of wine on the drive home from work. Okay, maybe it’s not that drastic. But I cannot sit here and be cordial with someone I am expected to have a decent amount of respect for if all I see on my News Feed is how badly the meeting this morning made you want a margarita.
Or how that stomach bug left you alone in the bathroom for an hour. In general, I don’t think it’s the best idea to be friends with your coworkers unless you’re sure you can keep it SFW (safe for work) – I wouldn’t want something on my Timeline influencing my eligibility for that promotion.
4. The Conspirator
I, for one, am an advocate for researching conspiracy theories. I’d say they’re pretty interesting. The especially unbelievable ones give me hope that our nation isn’t really as bad-off as it seems, though others convince me that we’ve got a few things to worry about. Regardless, the friend who posts day-in and day-out the most obtuse ideas on conspiracy theories is not someone I want to mess with.
These people are constantly sharing posts from Infowars and Mad Cow Morning News regarding the latest in theoretical attacks led by the most unexpected government officials. This friend is an unnecessary clutter to your feed unless you’re willing to post a counter-opinion and receive a 900-word response about how incorrect you are. It’s better to just stay out of it and “hide” this person’s posts from your day.
5. The Public Relationship
I will say that this sort of thing irks me more than necessary. I had a couple of friends years ago who would post literally everything about their new relationship on their status. Today she’d write “so exciting because Tommy bought me new earrings!” and the next day some sort of sad lyrics were plastered across his timeline for who knows what reason. If sharing every miniscule detail of your relationship is just inevitably the way you roll, please keep it in your diary.
Obviously I’m not saying these people are bad, or that I’m planning on deleting them from my life altogether. But if you, like me, have a few friends whose posts seem to upset you more than encourage you – it’s time for a little weekend cleaning. And to make it easier, I’ve found that most of these acquaintances are no more than a status behind a computer screen. Social media has become so much more enjoyable for me since erasing a few disheartening impressions from my view – not to mention the heightened amount of cat memes I run across on a daily basis.