I read last week, that the average American child has 150 toys. One hundred and fifty. Personally, I blame the grandparents – ha! In my girls’ rooms are toys they haven’t played with in a year. Toys they’ve never played with. Toys they can’t even see or remember because they’re buried beneath the aforementioned toys.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds A LOT like my Facebook friends list, too. People I friended as contacts, for a business and industry I no longer work in. People I worked with once upon a time, and friended so we could use Messenger. People I friended at an event, but we never really talked after that. And yes, people I friended but can’t remember when – or why.
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My girls both have birthdays coming up. Which means it’s time for them to perform some serious toy triage. Because when they get rid of the toys they don’t play with, they’ll be able to see the ones they do. And have room for a dance party with the ones they’d forgotten they loved.
If you haven’t guessed it yet, the parallel here is that I pretty much ONLY unfriend people on their birthdays. NOT because I’ve a sadist slant, but simply because Facebook has made it a terribly convenient way to clean my Facebook room on the daily.
Every day, Facebook delivers a notification list of everyone who has a birthday that day. And while I might use that reminder to send some a quirky birthday GIF, I mainly use it as an opportunity to unfriend those I just don’t interact with anymore.
It’s not that brutal. I have a 5-step process that makes sense for me and might work for you, too. Click on daily birthdays notification. Ask the following questions:
1. Do I know who they are?
a. Yes. Go to #2.
b. Nope. Go to #4.
2. Can I remember the last time I interacted with them on FB?
a. Yes. Go to #3
b. No? Go to #4.
3. Am I likely to interact with them again in the next year?
a. Yes. Sweet. It’s a great day to say hello.
b. Probably not. Okay, Unfriend.
4. “View Friendship.” Just beneath the person’s name and photo on the Birthday notification.” When you click on it, Facebook will display a history of your interactions. Have I interacted with them in the past year?
a. Yes. Stellar. Send favorite Bday meme.
b. No. Go to #5.
5. Review Mutual Friends. Are the friends you have in common mostly ones that you interact with regularly?
a. Yes. Your call, but I usually keep ‘em, assuming we’ll cross paths somehow in the next year.
b. Nah. Okay, unfriend.
See? Not so bad. To be fair, this is an ongoing process. But it’s WAY easier than – Surprise! – hitting your max number of friends and having to spend a day or two going through them one by one.
It allows for a daily micro-review of my Facebook contacts. Which IS totally ingenious.
And though I tend to unfriend 2 or so people a week, I am just as often prompted to reconnect with a past client or re-discover a contact at just the right time.
Speak Human, Win The Internet.
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