There was some reaction regarding the cleanup of social media friends as I mentioned in my blog: dead man running - part 1.
Interviewer: EmilK - Female - Germany
I've read the post regarding your story and i have to say it was very intense and inspiring. Hope you have a very happy life. I have some questions regarding the cleanup of Facebook friends. In your post you mention that you should define what a Facebook friend should be doing on your network. How do you define this?
Thank you for reading my story. First of all, I do not tell others what to do. I only share what I do for myself. So if your question is: how I defined which Facebook friends I wanted to keep as a real “Facebook friend”? Then the answer is: the plan was to take my 5 most important post from past year and see who liked it or made a comment. I finally decided to take the 6 most important posts. I downloaded the friends list from my Facebook archive and started to give scores, one for each like or comment. I removed all contacts who had a score of 0 (zero). It is as simple as that.
Most of my likes I get on my birthday. Was this one of your most important posts?
No. But now that you asked, I did a check on contacts that made a happy birthday post and had a score of 0. And yes, I found some that meet that criteria. I still removed them because most wishes are due to automatic messages from Facebook. If Facebook did not tell them that there is a birthday coming up, they would not post anything at all! My birthday is the least important event of the year.
Did you really remove everybody else? There must be contacts that liked something other than the 6 most important posts? Aren't you afraid that people get offended by this?
That are 3 questions! 1) Yes. 2) That is correct. 3) No. You must ask yourself, is it strange that people ignore the most important/personal posts in your life? Do you think they missed 6 important/personal posts by accident?
Maybe some people just don't use Facebook in the way it was meant to be.
You are probably right. I know that there are people who have an account but do not use Facebook at all. I know there are people who just like to read what other people are posting, so they are up2date about your life, but they do not share anything about theirs. I know that there are people who only have a Facebook account to play games. Everybody has his/her reason to have a Facebook account and everybody is free use it in the way that they want, so am I.
Eventually people will see that you are no longer part of their Facebook friends. If they should ask to be reconnected again, would you say yes?
Sure I will. Maybe they changed to way they use social media so I give them another chance. I know for sure that there are friends that only use Facebook to keep informed but never make a post themselves. Some of them I already spoke in person and they are honest about this. Instead of liking the posts, they tell me in person or use private messages. They are still on my list even when they did have a score of 0. It is just the way some of us communicate.
What is your definition of a “Facebook friend”?
That's a tuff one. I'm going to give it a try: I do not call it “Facebook friends” but “Facebook contacts”. A good Facebook contact is a person that shows interest in your life and I will show interest back on personal posts. With personal posts I do not mean every funny picture or movie that you come across, but a real personal post about moments in your life. It can even be someone I have never seen in person.
If you have never seen them in person, aren't you afraid of false Facebook profiles? Will you allow everybody to connect?
No, no. Only the prettig girls! I am kidding. No, I check anyone who wants to connect with me. Last year I had to report some false Facebook profiles and they were shut down by Facebook several days later.
Wow, how can you tell the false from the real once?
In my case it was easy. One of the false accounts had a picture of a very nice girl. I took the picture and asked Google who that was. The result was a picture from a female tennis player on a blog from the year 2002. The person with the false account just stole all images from that bog and use them on that account. The other account was a fishing account were the person tried to connect using false statements telling me that she was the mother of my daughters friend. But her Dutch was a very poor translation and that made me wonder.
Aren't you afraid that by removing all these contacts, your messages will reach less people. Isn't that what social media is all about?
Afraid? No. Social media is a way to stay in touch with each other. It is also a way to communicate although I'm not a fan off Facebook and its messenger. There are better alternatives to communicate such as Hangout! If people want to know what I'm up to, they can use Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn to follow everything I post on my blog. “Isn't that what social media is all about?” ...you say? Well, I noticed that some of my Facebook contacts never liked anything I wrote, but were very active themselves. So I gave them several thumbsup, but got non in return. How is that social? People who show no interest in your personal life what so ever, should not be on your facebook list. That is the way I use social media. Others may have another opinion about this, and they are free to use it that way.
What's the difference between facebook and google+?
Sounds like the answer that can be found on Wikipedia. For me there is a big difference. In the beginning that I used social media, I was convinced that Facebook was for Children between 12 and 18 years. I still think that this is the case, all do I’m starting to see potential in groups because there you can find people with the same interests. As for Google+, that is what social media should be like. It’s much easier to connect with people that share the same interests. You can read Google+ without having to wonder if you missed out on an important post. You can make use off communities, collections and if you make the correct circles, you will only see the posts that you are really interested in. Facebook on the other hand is mainly focussed on getting as much money as possible by giving you lots of commercials and leaving out all the important stuff.
What do you mean by leaving out the important stuff?
I did some tests with Facebook and the results were absolutely amazing. After If made a post I asked my wife if she saw it. We were amazed that the only way that she could find my post was by clicking on my profile. If she didn't click on my profile, she could keep scrolling down until she was getting posts from days and weeks before, but my new post was missing. I wonder how many people are missing posts from friends this way?
So it’s possible that they missed some posts and you de-friended them by mistake?
First off al “De-friend” is a very bad word. Second, my cleanup was based on 6 important posts over a period of 1,5 years and not 1. Third, the word “friends” is not correct in Facebook “friends” but should be Facebook “contacts”.
I see that this topic could go on and on. So for now this interview is closed and can be reopened by anyone with more related questions. Thanks EmilK for the interview.