James Mayes

Is un-friending trending?

In Conference, Facebook, LinkedIn, Social Media, Twitter on November 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

I learnt through Twitter this morning (as I often do!) that today is National Unfriending Day. It’s spun out of the Jimmy Kimmel show and does seem to have tapped into the zeitgeist.

At the #TruNORAS event recently, Katherine suggested her evaluation of Facebook invites prior to accepting was simply “Would I hug that person?”.  I’d been thinking on similar lines before the event and had already removed a bunch of people from my Facebook account.  Nothing against those people, I’d just started to feel uncomfortable sharing certain bits of news or photos on that site – and I wanted to recapture the feeling of freedom when I’d originally only had a small number of friends that I’d know for years. Also interesting to cast that mantra against the comments on another great blog I saw earlier today from The HRD.

I recognise now that I won’t recapture those halcyon days of free abandon – due in no small part to my own growing knowledge of Social Media, security, privacy and other associated issues.  I’m completely open on Twitter, I’m open to any (relevant) professional LinkedIn connection – but I do want to retain a tighter level of control on Facebook.

With my clearout a few weeks back, I thought I was done.  Then I read Matt Alder‘s latest piece (if you haven’t, you should – he’s bang-on with the LinkedIn stuff).  I was drawn to the Social Graph tool he’d used to produce one screen-shot, and tested it out.  The resulting view made it blindingly obvious that my Facebook cull hadn’t done the job.  A few completely unconnected people, floating around and yes, each one on inspection was one I wouldn’t hug.


Friends, Romans, Countrymen!

Social Graph of my Facebook friends.



So where does that leave me?  Continuing on the journey I guess.  The platforms will continue to evolve, as will the way I handle real-world and online relationships.  Provided the tools continue to evolve too, I’m confident I’ll be able to manage things in the way that I want – but that’s always been trendy, hasn’t it?

  1. Totally agree with you James. I’ve personally found that as social media becomes a part of my on line and off line life my reasons for building lists of friends, connections and people to follow has become blurred. Over the past month or so I’ve been reminding myself that the various platforms of social media have very different uses and therefore have been more objective in who to include.

    Anyway Jimmey Kimmel’s National Unfriending Day is simply a swipe at Facebook as befriending is at its core.

    • Thanks Keith- I think the unfriending day is indeed a cheap shot – and when cleaning up one’s connections, a certain amount of discretion might be more appropriate.

  2. I’ve tried a simliar approach James. FB is for “home” and Twitter and LinkedIn are for everyone else. As I’ve become more active in socia media those lines are getting more blurry. I may need to follow your path and take a close look at those I don’t want to hug.

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