I thought about this post while watching The Social Network- remember that film about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg starring Justin Timberlake? Earlier in the day, I’d had a mass delete of ‘friends’ on Facebook. A cull, if you will.
Over the years my friends list has become overcrowded with people I barely know, people I don’t like, people that annoy me, friends of friends, exes, people that bring nothing to my life, people that think life is a massive competition to see whose “boy did good” (etc), people that think I care that their kid shit in a potty and other annoying ‘groups’.
I blame myself. My sloppy adding. Drunken internet befriending in freshers week. Hastily adding people I’ve worked with in jobs gone by. Accepting boyfriends of friends and forgetting to delete them while mopping up floods of tears of the broken heart they’d caused.
So, you see, it was time for a clearout.
Like ridding yourself of shoes, a Facebook Cull has to be brutal. Too many times have I almost deleted someone then not, just in case I saw them or they asked my why we aren’t friends any more. So, I broke my deletees into categories. You might find it helpful to follow them.
And remember; be brutal.
Anyone with a fake middle name for the purposes of Facebook.
No your middle name isn’t “party animal” (this person also used the word “hubster” to address her other half in posts so double strike) or “hustler” or your favourite colour. Tarar.
Anyone that sends game requests
IS Candy Crush still a thing? Why have you got enough time to play Farm Heros? You’re taking up my data allowance by even sending me a notifcation highlighting that you’re asking for my help in this virtual land. Just no. And Goodbye.
Anyone who regularly annoys you in posts or has annoyed you more than three times in the week leading up to The Cull.
Easier because this week was election week and the ratio of tolerable to unbearable was amplified by those who knew nothing about politics and those who were ramming their political views down my throat. Even if it isn’t election week there’ll be basics who annoy you on so many levels. People posting pictures of all the shots they drank last night, people ranting about a problem before “pm’ing” anyone who can be arsed to ask what’s wrong, people who call wine “vino” to be fancy. Choose your favourites (you know what I mean.)
Anyone who shares “Britain First” posts. Self explanatory.
People who share a countdown too much.
I know we all get excited about our holiday, wedding or imminent birth of babies and we can’t be blamed for counting down. It gets mildly annoying, more than mildly. I kknow because I know that the counting to my upcoming nuptuals must have pissed off my friends and colleagues (even if they’re too polite to admit it). I’ll use this blog as a kind of half hearted apology but really I’m just bloody excited. It’s been scrawled up on my work wall calendar since Christmas Eve and it’s occupied a lot of my conversation. I get it, it’s annoying. What I can’t abide is people saying “only 428 days,13 hours and 6 minutes until Magaluf”. IT’S TOO LONG. Stop it. So they went. Ciao.
People I wouldn’t say hello to in real life
This happened recently. I saw a girl and I know she saw me. In fact, she later liked a snap of me in the place we saw each other. But we didn’t speak. Not even a polite nod across the room. If you can’t even do that why should we be seeing each other’s very movements online? We shouldn’t; adios.
People you’re not sure how you know
You see them liking your activity and you can’t place them. After some investigation you realise you took a seminar with them in your first year at uni or that you got off with them at one of those god-awful 6th form parties where everyone was buying cheap shots on someone else’s ID. These people aren’t your “friends” so they have to go. Au Revoir.
And if you can’t delete them
I started giving examples here, but then I realised that the people in this category might realise they were or else people not in the category would think that they were (like the time I did a status saying “if you haven’t got my new number I just don’t like you” but then it failed to send to some people and they thought I just didn’t like them). But if you can’t delete them, just hide them. And honestly, you forget they even exist. It’s not as satisfying as the unfriending as they can still see you but I suppose you can also restrict what they can see. It’ll do.
I’m now running a two strikes policy. I plan to be strict on it. If you annoy me, you obtain a strike. Second strike and you’re out. No Exceptions. I’m also going to be really picky about who I accept so that I can avoid the need to cull in future.
At the end of the day, if I share my wedding photos, my weekends, my thoughts, my blog posts I want the people to see them to be select. As select as you can be on social media, anyway.