In a recent article in this space, I explained how to tell if you were unfriended by someone on Facebook. This can be accomplished using Firefox as your browser, and installing a Greasemonkey script. The Unfriend Finder script is useful in a lot of different ways. It will, of course, notify you when someone has dropped you from their friends list. It can also notify you if someone left Facebook altogether. You can see updates to profiles in one place. There’s a lot of good information in addition to the obvious: they don’t like me anymore.
My questions to you today are less technical and more about reactions and emotions.
- Does knowing when friends unfriend you on Facebook influence your behavior?
- If you lose a friend, do you worry about why?
- Would you confront someone who unfriended you?
- Would you change what you share on Facebook if you thought someone was offended?
- How do you feel about unfriending?
I’m not sure why I tried so hard to find a manageable way to know who unfriended me on Facebook. I have a fairly large number of friends, but they aren’t all what I would call “real” friends. You meet people in business, friends of friends see your profile, and your friend number gets pretty large. That isn’t a bad thing at all, and it’s my number one agenda item for being here. It’s great to get to know other people in my field, as well as related fields. If my mother unfriended me (and she actually has, when she bailed on Facebook), I might be disturbed. Someone that I have never actually met, not so much. I think I’m just curious about why someone would go through the trouble of unfriending me. Maybe the exact point that someone unfriends you will reveal some important detail about their personality. If I posted about puppies yesterday, and Joe Smith unfriended me, Joe Smith must hate puppies. The assumption that Joe Smith is a monster makes me feel much better. It’s a nice experiment in human behavior, and that’s another thing that has always fascinated me.
Here are my answers to my own questions:
- I try my very best not to let the actions of others influence me. I have to say, there are certain things that I stay away from as much as possible. I don’t comment about politics, religion, anybody’s lifestyle, kids (all beautiful), or things of that nature. It isn’t that I don’t have strong opinions (I do), I just try and reserve them for my smaller circle.
- I think I like to guess why people unfriend me. I did get and write about the Unfriend Finder script. I try to remember that nobody is everybody’s cup of tea. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can’t please all of the people some of the time, but you can please some of the people some of the time.” Or something like that…or nothing like that. I try not to take it personally. Some people might not like email and social marketing. Go figure.
- I am waiting for the day I can confront someone in person Larry David/Curb Your Enthusiasm style . It would be a most awkward and wonderful moment.
- I try to be interesting and honest without being offensive. I have a great group of diverse friends. I don’t know who is right about any issues. I do my best to try and be open-minded.
I do unfriend people from time-to-time. I have a few hot buttons that I will keep to myself that trigger the unfriend. Ultimately, everybody uses Facebook for different reasons. Sometimes those reasons don’t match up with mine. I might even unfriend because of a friend of a friend (i.e., never-ending comments, etc.). I don’t really have a hard and fast rule; it is all about feel.
I would be interested to hear comments on this one.