No, I’m neither a dinosaur nor a Luddite, but recently, I’ve had a Facebook moment. You know that time when you realise you are not keeping up with everything you should that your real friends are doing, and that you have a long list of friends you actually haven’t really communicated with in years or know, but not that well? That if you do spend time looking at your newsfeed, it feels like time wasted, or living life vicariously, but you’re not sure how to deal with it?
Well, I had a friend cull, as it is called, rather like some kind of seal slaughter, but hopefully less bloody. Probably, most will not notice because I am fairly unimportant to them, and that’s ok. You see, for most of us, friends are people we communicate with regularly and can really talk to, not people we vaguely know through some social media platform.
Facebook has close friends categories, friends and acquaintances, and others, but the system of differentiation is so laborious that it makes it almost worthless. The reality is that my really close friends know about me, my other friends probably don’t know or need to know, and acquaintances don’t even need to be there. Yet, I am reluctant to dispense with it completely, for Facebook can be interesting, I can learn things and I discover who has changed job, partner, parental status, and so on. Quite useful for big life event announcements, though I often miss them!
The answer perhaps is, for others and for me, to slowly reduce friends until they become manageable and if people delete me, no, I will not be offended.
So, I wondered if there is a more efficient way of using Facebook. I prefer Instagram and Twitter and mainly have a personal Facebook account because I have so-called business pages which cannot be run without a personal account. I decided to try just posting to my pages, and making all my posts on my personal page ‘me only’ in my privacy settings. For now, let’s see if that has any impact. All ideas welcome!