To friend or not to friend? That is the question. What’s the answer? We all handle our social networking lives in different ways. For some of us, Facebook and Twitter are ways to catch up with old friends, meet new people, or find a date. For some, social networking is an extension of our business lives. Twitter and Facebook allow us to have these fantastic networking and relationship building opportunities outside the immediate workplace. These opportunities bring up so many possibilities, and also tough decisions.
I fall more on the business side of things. I have a lot of friends from the “old days” on my lists, and it is pretty cool to follow the lives of people that I grew up with. I like to see that so many people are doing so well. I’ll admit that I am not the most active in the social circles on Facebook. I probably should be a little more engaging with some of my old friends. I am honestly not distant on purpose. My agenda is just a little different with my social networking life.
All these relationships can sometimes bring up some sticky situations for us all. I am sure there are people who get tired of hearing me talk about business. I have no problem with that, and certainly understand if that’s the case. I am sure there are people who don’t enjoy others’ frequent updates about the small details of day-to-day life. If that’s not for you, that’s ok as well. It is nice to have options. There are a couple of things you can do in Facebook to take care of this. You can hide someone, and not see them in your news feed. You also have the nuclear option: the unfriend. The unfriend is a bit more tricky. The unfriend can make you feel pretty lousy when you notice. It is odd that something like Facebook can make you have feelings of rejection, but it can, and does for many people.
I am not generally bothered by “losing” Facebook friends, but I did recently notice one that bothered me a little. I was “friends” with someone in the industry. I run a script in my Facebook with Firefox that alerts me when someone leaves. When this person came up as unfriended, I have to admit, it made me feel strange. What if this person crosses my path in the future? Would I be a big enough person to not hold a grudge? Honestly, I’m not sure. That’s the rub with all this “friend” business. I also have someone that I have known for many many years, who I would call a friend. One day I noticed that I hadn’t seen any of her posts for a while. Sure enough, no longer on my friend list. What do you say when you see them?
Do you have any stories about being on either side of this process? Were you dumped on Facebook? Did you purge your list? Share with the group.