Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Deleted Them All

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I came home on Saturday night after ComedySportz and decided to check Facebook.

I immediately found myself inundated with updates—many of them from old students who were never actually in my class. In fact, there were so many updates that I had no recent activity listed from family and close friends – these didn’t even make it to my homepage because they’d been pushed down so far in the queue. I had been hit – yet again – with the familiar “So-And-So Answered A Question About you” and “Is Teachinfourth A Good Friend?” amongst half-a-dozen other apps yet again requesting me to ‘be a friend’ and do this or that. It seemed that no matter how many times I’d chosen to block these types of apps, others would spring up to take their place, as well as multiple updates from the same person taking up an entire wall page.

It was getting old.

Really old.

I looked at my friend count and saw it was near the 600 mark.

I had 600 friends? Really?

I didn’t recall that I’d hung out with anywhere near 600 people on a regular basis. I couldn’t recall even if I’d seen some of these people in the past two or three years.

I remembered a blog post I’d done some time back about the notorious ‘Friend Request’ and realized that I had – at one time – accepted all of these requests, but now it had become far too much. Maybe some individuals like to have a million friends, but to me it was becoming more of a chore than anything else.

I thought about simply switching off my Facebook account for a while and giving myself a break, but unfortunately my Classroom of Chaos and Adventures & Misadventures of Daily Living pages kept me from doing that – since I was the administrator of both pages - they’d be deleted.

I groaned inwardly and thought of all the work associated with putting both of those pages back online.

Ugh…it just wasn’t worth it.

As I looked through my friend list, I knew that multiple people would be offended if I deleted them. After all, wouldn’t you be, in knowing you didn’t make the cut?

So I found a way to remedy this.

I deleted everyone.

You heard me.

Right before going to bed I deleted every one of the 600 friends I had on my Facebook profile.

Now, I’m not going to lie at this point. When I woke up this morning I thought, “Holy Hannah…what in the world did I just do? I just deleted every single person that I’d built up as friends over the past four or five years!” I grabbed my laptop and checked my profile.

It wasn’t a dream; I had zero friends.

I felt a delicious thrill of horror; and that’s really the best way I can describe it. It was a type of panic and relief all wrapped up in one.

I did a quick search and found my immediate family members and added them as well as a handful of other people, and that was it.

I’ve decided to make a few changes, too...like perhaps following my own advice from two or so years ago so I don't find myself yet again in this same predicament. At this point, I figure that the people who really want to have me as a friend will realize that I’m gone and will send the request, and for those who didn’t…well, then I guess I wasn’t all that great of a friend to begin with.

As of right now I have 37 friends, and for now that's enough...until a few more discover that I'm gone.

31 comments:

Farscaper said...

I was wondering why my friend list dropped by 1. Yes, I know each and every person on my list and I miss those who drop out. Normally I don't re-friend someone who has dropped me - I figure they have their reasons and don't want me around any more. I'll send a request... it's your choice to accept or ignore. (Promise I won't sent you any of those "....answered a question about you.." or the pillow fight type apps.)

Cheeseboy said...

Ha ha! So it was on purpose.

O doubt that at least 60% of my "friends" even check facebook once a week.

Spenc said...

I keep two facebook pages, one for people I want to be friends with and one for people who don't know about the real account. I rarely check the one that's not for close friends and family.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Good for you!. When you think about it, true friends will seek you out. I've known so many people who are on blogs, fb, etc., and they just want the numbers... FB has gotten out of hand.. My girls weren't too thrilled when the uniqueness was gone. I on the other hand don't have a profile which makes a few people upset. Me, I could care less. True friends will find you.

Lydia said...

That is an action I can really support. I frequently have a "spring cleaning" of my facebook friends. A quick and easy way to de-clutter when cleaning out the closet just won't cut it.

Kelly said...

Just when I was thinking of friending you on Facebook... Glad you made a clean break though. Facebook can be too much sometimes.

tammy said...

I'm glad I got added back. I was beginning to look for my bottle of Prozac.

Today's Gift said...

Good for you. I've deactivated my fb profile several times, but find that sometimes it's the best way to contact people through messages.

I just might take your lead and delete my friends so I can start fresh with those who really want to be my friend...

Vanessa said...

I just thought maybe you hated my stinkin' guts.

Oilfield Trash said...

Sometimes you have to "flush" them all to find the non-turds.

Shannon said...

I think you're an absolute genius. I deplore FB apps...well, I get caught up in Scramble once in a while, but that's because I also can't stand anybody having a higher score than me.

Kelton said...

I "deactivated" my account 2 weeks ago.... I needed a "sabbatical of sorts"....

It's just temporary though. Maybe I'll Friend Request you when I decide to "reactivate" myself lol :)

Rachel said...

LOL! Love Oilfields comment. Oh isn't that the truth!!

I am honored that you consider me a friend. Truly.

Sand Castles and Snow Forts said...

How fun that must have been!

Pumpkin Delight said...

Oh how liberating that must have been! We've been inundated at work with reminders about facebook etiquette, not to friend students, etc and part of me wants to just shut it down! Then I'm afraid of what I might miss. :)

Pedaling said...

that must have been so liberating.
Way to go.
i have many people on hide.

SHELLS BELLS! said...

Ah, FB. I have such a like/hate relationship with that site. I block/hide apps, games, and some people. Not that I have anything to hide...or maybe I do.

Laura Anne said...

My friends list has been sitting right around 35 for a good long time, and I wouldn't have it any other way! Friends are one of those areas of life where quality sure outweighs quantity, just as true on Facebook.

Richard & Natalie said...

You just might be on to something...I don't know how many times I've gone to "clean up" my friends list and then not been able to delete anyone. Maybe deleting them all is the answer...

I'm sincerely glad to have been added back.

elysabeth said...

I kept getting those messages about so and so answered a question about you, yada yada yada - I deleted the posting on my wall and even put a message on my wall stating that if persons on my friends list kept doing that, I would delete and block them. If they were answering questions about me, they didn't truly know me. Even my nephew left some weird postings on my wall - I sent him a message back to stop or he would be removed from my friend list and I would report him. He stopped and most of the others I've deleted. I only have around 400 friends but most of them are authors or book related folks - I hope - lol. If it gets too much that folks are posting more and more, then I'll delete them all - and start anew - E :)

Elysabeth Eldering
Author of the JGDS 50-state, mystery, trivia series

Where will the adventure take you next?

http://jgdsseries.blogspot.com
http://jgdsseries.weebly.com

Carolyn said...

I noticed we weren't friends. But I'm glad you didn't just delete me! :)

cjtucker76 said...

I've tried various things like hiding certain people and blocking certain apps. I've even started deleting unknowns as they pop up in the "today's birthdays" section in the sidebar. (Happy birthday to you, now beat it.)

I may just resort to the delete all option soon, but it feels a bit drastic at this point. For now, I think I'll stick with the anti-birthday gifts.

Mamma has spoken said...

And to think I was going to find you and send you a friend request ;o)
Like the others, I hide certain people that I don't like their posts but don't have the heart to delete them. I block most of the apps. but my old college roommate loves some heart thingy that is driving me nuts. I would unfriend her, but it's nice keeping up with what's going on when she isn't playing the games.

As for students and previous students I don't friend them, never. I love them but I like having my personal life peronal and my professional life not being a part of it.

Connie said...

You're a brave and liberated man! 37 seems more manageable!

T said...

oooh, I need to teach you the "list" trick... I keep people on a variety of lists and "hide" some of those lists entirely... y'know... like my family and all the people I know from Kansas...

(kidding, on both counts)

cari said...

I am so offended. :) I don't blame you ONE bit. My daughter, Elisabeth (also a teacher), refuses to friend any student and vows not to former students either. She was told it wasn't a good idea. Good heavens, Jason, you do so much for your students, you need to have your own life! :)

Krista said...

I almost felt like I wrote that post myself. I started with deleting my ugly friends. Then the comment Nazis. Now I need to delete some more but I don't know if I should start with "people I never actually met" or "people who have a Q in their name." Decisions, decisions.

Kari Lyn said...

I always think it is odd when someone will be friends with you on Facebook, but aren't kind to you in real life. I guess they are the ones that are in it for the numbers? Weird!

Love the deleting everyone idea. I've been pretty choosy so far, and have been getting even choosier as time goes on.

M-Cat said...

At first I thought I had ticked you off, but then when I saw who else you had recently become friends with, I figured you had done a massive clean out. Feel skiknda cathartic doesn't it?

Life with Kaishon said...

You fascinate me.

Anonymous said...

I just "simplified" my list this morning by a little over half. It was very cathartic. As I went through the list I found I had a variety of criteria that to decide whether to keep or delete. I had "friends" from elementary school to people who'd friended me because we're in the same field and business acquaintances. I guess it helps you see who you really value and why. I don't think most of those I unfriended will notice or even care.

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