Lots of people, including myself, have a regular purge of their Facebook friends. My criteria include:
- Do they ever comment on my posts?
- Do they ever like my posts?
- Have I ever met this person in the flesh?
- Do I have any interaction at all with this person?
If not, I un-friend them. This is something I do once every six months or so, depending on what’s on TV. As this is Germany, the answer is, often, not very much. Un-friending people can be quite a cathartic experience. Some people, about twenty of them, I have blocked on Facebook, eg one particular person who had a habit of looking at my Facebook page, mis-reading my comments and then feeding drivel back to various relatives of mine. Just because I comment on a photo, “Dinner with the potential in-laws,” does not mean you need to rush out and buy a posh frock or suit for a forthcoming wedding.
Sorry to disappoint.
In the days before Facebook, and I’ve been on Facebook since, I think, 2007, de-friending required different methods.
- Buying a new address book, copying over by hand all the contacts I wanted to keep, and then throwing out the old book after a few weeks.
- Going into my email account and doing the same electronically, including:
- Deleting all emails from the contact
- Deleting their email address
- Putting them on my ‘block sender’ list
- In one case, a university (fair-weather) friend, called “Deeps,” I even:
- Looked for any photos of him in my photo albums, as in the proper ones, not online
- Took out all the photos methodically
- Methodically placed them into a strong envelope, with no covering note
- Wrote Deeps’ name and address in block capitals on the envelope
- Omitted my return address on the back (I had moved house a couple of times since last being in contact with him, two years before)
- Queued up at the local post office to ensure I had the correct postage, before placing the package in the local post box
In the case of Deeps’ photos, I derived a huge sense of closure. My only regret: that I had not done so earlier.
Facebook friends are not real friends. Fair-weather friends aren’t, either. One reason I love Düsseldorf is, I have some good, genuine friends.
Have a friendly day, won’t you?