Thursday, May 20, 2010

Leaving Facebook: Step 2

I've been purging friends. At my peak, I was somewhere around 169, and now I'm under 50. The exercise has made me think about the sorts of friendships I have on FB.

The first set to go was people I had "reconnected with" via FB. I hadn't talked to these people in years, and even though we were FB friends, I still hadn't talked to them at all. That was about 70 people.

Then there were people I see on a regular basis, with whom I have an actual relationship in real life, more so than on FB. If I see you every week/day, why do I need to know your Farmville habits? Honestly.

This third group is the most difficult so far: people I maintain a relationship with, but over a long distance, mostly via email and phone. I have several very close (but far away) friends who don't really use FB. I feel like a jerk deleting them, but I know they have my email and phone number, and probably won't even miss me on FB.

So who's left? I'm down to 40 people. Probably about 20 are favorite people from the groups above. The rest of them use FB regularly, and I enjoy getting their updates because I don't see them regularly in any other context. These people are going to be the most difficult to leave. If you use FB to post photos of your adorable kids, try picasa or flickr. If you like sharing links, try Google Reader or delicious. If you have a daily flow of status messages, Twitter. Then send an email to the people you care about, inviting them to see.

The other thing I've done, besides deleting friends, is to set up a personal landing page. I already have a Google Profile with links to my stuff, but I also recently found out that my parents own, and are saving it for me. Instead of paying for a web hosting service, I'm planning to direct that site to my landing page. This page is prettier than my Google Profile, thanks to M's photography and's easy formatting. You can view my blog and links right there. (I could also link to my FB and Twitter accounts, if I wanted to, along with several others. But I'm going for minimalist here.)

Ok, I have to go. I'm being beckoned for dinner. But really, think about it.

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