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Too Many Facebook Friends?

Posted by on Dec 22, 2011

Do you have too many Facebook friends? Rather, do you have so many that there are people you’re not sure why you’re following anymore, whether they’re updating or not?

I ask this because I’m often reading where people have said that they’re about to start whittling down their Facebook connections because of whatever reason they decide to pick on. It got me to thinking that maybe I should take a look at some of the more than 550 people I’m connected to there to see if I should be paring my list.

First, why would one want to pare their list? Lots of reasons; I’ll name some here. One, just too many people, such that you miss the stream of people you really care about. Two, you might not like some of the updates you see from certain people. Three, you may never even talk to or hear from someone you’re connected to. Four, they might not even be active on Facebook anymore; what’s the point? Five, you have some folks still connected you that you have now decided you don’t want seeing any of your updates anymore. I think that’s enough for my purposes right now.

I decided I was going to pare my list down as well; I certainly know there’s a lot of people on there that I added for some reason or another that maybe I don’t need to be connected to anymore. I went looking for something like what Twitter has to help me out; you know, Friend or Follow or maybe Twit Cleaner, but I couldn’t find a single thing. This meant that I would have to do it manually, looking at names, looking at their accounts, and decide that way instead.

You know what? That turns out to be way harder than I could have imagined. I didn’t want to just drop someone whose name I didn’t recognize because they might be subscribed to my Facebook business page (by the way, why aren’t YOU subscribed to my Facebook business page?) and that would be insulting to them. That and they might have connected with me because they’re friends of someone else I know better, and I don’t want to insult them either.

I looked up some names I didn’t know and saw that they were current on the site, and they weren’t putting out anything that was irritating me. I decided to leave them, just in case. I saw people whose pictures I recognized for some reason, even if I couldn’t ever remember seeing them saying anything in my stream or to me. And I actually found a few people who fit my criteria for deleting; nothing new on the site, few friends, etc.

That was kind of the problem; after almost 45 minutes (I’m surprised I stayed that long) I’d found only 3 people that I decided I no longer needed to be connected to. I think I’d only looked at 15 accounts; at more than 550 people, throwing out the at least 100 people I know very well, I realized that would be 30 hours worth of time that I’d never get back; no thank you.

I’m a lot more judgmental these days in who I’ll add to my Facebook account, but that won’t help me for my past connections. Actually, I have to admit that I was surprised that I didn’t see the names of a few people I know I’d connected with; did they up and drop me first or leave Facebook without saying anything? One of those people was supposed to be my college roommate my junior year, then he ended up not coming back. He reached out to be first, then totally disappeared; his name no longer even appears on Facebook, which I’d thought people had said was hard to do.

No matter. I’m sticking with the people I’m connected to, whether they care or not. However, if anyone finds a program that works like the two I mentioned works with Twitter, please let me know and I might revisit it. Right now, too much work. 🙂
 

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30 Comments »

I don’t accept a friend request unless I know the person or that person has a connection to someone who I deem as special within my circles.

That means there’s a long roster of people who are in my Facebook friendship request pile that I’ve ignored.

I think that some people see their Facebook “friends” number as a popularity badge, and that’s fine with me. I plan to keep my number low and tight.
Shirley George Frazier recently posted…Go After the Cake, Not the CrumbsMy Profile

December 22nd, 2011 | 9:44 AM

Shirley, I don’t just add people now, but I certainly did when I joined up, not even thinking about it back then. But I probably allow way more people through then I should.

December 22nd, 2011 | 4:59 PM
jim syyap:

I have the subscribe button activated on my profile. This way, people whom I do not know, and that they know that I don’t know them, can still follow me. Other than that, i have a fan page for work related connections.
jim syyap recently posted…This is not the right way to use hootsuiteMy Profile

December 22nd, 2011 | 6:31 PM

Jim, I didn’t activate the subscribe button because I wasn’t sure I wanted people I didn’t know to be able to follow my personal profile. Let them follow my business profile instead; no problems with thta.

December 24th, 2011 | 12:14 AM

I use FB for friends and family only – I decided very early that I didn’t want to mix business with leisure. I now use G+ for other on line connections, it’s easy to have different circles for different interests – people who I follow as well as those I have discussions with. Mine include business, blogging, a host of others, and one for “unsure if I’ll ever have much to do with these people, but included just in case”.
Sue recently posted…Seasonal job vacancy available at short notice.My Profile

December 22nd, 2011 | 7:43 PM

Sue, I wish I had thought about it earlier but it’s done now. Actually, since no one’s standing out as being irritating I guess it’s all good, but I know I miss a lot of stuff, including just learning that one of my cousin’s wife passed away days before Thanksgiving. I wish I’d known about that much earlier.

December 24th, 2011 | 12:15 AM
Carl:

Probably the main reason why Facebook have put the limit on friends number. I must admit that, I don’t know nearly 70% of people that have request me as friend, however with mot of them we have similar interests, so I guess it is fine. There is still a lot of space until I reach the limit and may be at that point, I will start cleaning my contacts.
Carl recently posted…Rubino Law Firm IndianaMy Profile

December 22nd, 2011 | 8:10 PM

It’s a strange thing, Carl. I know that sites like Klout and Empire Avenue rank people based on how many FB friends they have and not engagement, which is why I dropped Klout and only treat EA as a game, which has proven to be more fun than I’d expected it to be. I just want to make sure that I’m really able to connect with people I see will interact with others, including me.

December 24th, 2011 | 12:18 AM

You are right, Mitch. Klout algorithms were very strange, actually I think they have updated recently and made situation even worse, at least what I’ve read somewhere. I must mention something else, in the last couple of years, I have worked on social marketing campaigns for different companies on Facebook. I must say that 99.9% serious businesses can not benefit of this social networks. In terms of traffic yes, but in terms of sales this traffic generate nearly 0.
Carl recently posted…Benchmark Tools for MarketingMy Profile

December 24th, 2011 | 6:04 AM

Carl, that’s been pretty much my belief. I mean, at a certain point we get “ad-blind” and we don’t even pay attention unless something disturbs us. I think some FB business pages have a chance, but otherwise I don’t see it as one of the best investments in the world.

December 24th, 2011 | 7:26 PM

I’m starting to be far more choosy as I go on all social media, not just Facebook, and I definitely no longer add in new friends if I don’t know the person well. Recently I added someone as a friend who seemed like a good contact for my business, and she’s ended up being so wacky (and I mean bizarre in ways I can’t mention in a public forum even though she has no sense of what’s appropriate to post) that I’ve broken down and zapped her. Life’s too short for social media to be so complicated and frought with problematic contacts.

I blog about medical billing and coding careers among other things (which isn’t s-e-xy, I know), but despite this being a very specific niche topic, I still don’t want to be associated in my personal life with someone who I’m a) not close with and b) find quite unhealthy mentally.
Anna Martin recently posted…Medical billing and coding jobsMy Profile

December 22nd, 2011 | 11:55 PM

I fully know what you mean, Anna, as I have a guy on LinkedIn that keeps asking me to help get him a job in the UK and to advise him on what he should do with his life, and I don’t even live there! lol

Hey, you’re in my field, kind of. I do CDM and revenue cycle consulting, and if you look there to the right you’ll see the link to my medical billing answers site. I’m going to have to check your blog out.

December 24th, 2011 | 12:21 AM
Novz:

an invite from a popular and sexy Philippine actress is still in my pending friend request page. I don’t know her personally. I think it’s some boot or fake, but it’s her real image and name which I often bragged to some friends.

of my 759 (plus 44 pending) FB friends, i personally know at least 90% of them. and i don’t think i will delete even any of those in the 10%.

December 23rd, 2011 | 2:12 AM

Wow, you actually know that many people Novz? That’s pretty cool; I’m not even close to that figure. As for the actress I don’t know sometimes if they’re fake or not. I’ve never hooked up with them on Facebook but I have a few that connected with me first on Twitter, and they’re verified so I was pleased to add them to the stream.

December 24th, 2011 | 12:23 AM
Amanda@BuySellWordPress:

I created my page on Facebook not so long ago, so that’s why I haven’t had such a problem yet. But I had it on other sites and social networks. Sometimes it’s really very strange when the majority of your friends are unknown to you people
Amanda recently posted…WordPress ThemesMy Profile

December 23rd, 2011 | 8:13 AM

True Amanda, and these days I’m more choosy than I was when I first signed up.

December 24th, 2011 | 12:24 AM

i totally agree with you, I use FB for just friends and family , it makes life a lot simpler and organized

December 23rd, 2011 | 5:16 PM

When people talk about having to “Trim the fat” so to speak, I wonder why you have so many facebook fans in the first place? I know that it when I first started on Facebook, I barely friended anyone. Now that I am working in the social media arena, I find that I am irritated by those who call themselves social media gurus and have not social media presence. Is it easy to follow everyone? No. But Facebook has made it easier to keep up with those I want to keep track of.

December 23rd, 2011 | 6:31 PM

Matt, I’m a social media guy as you can tell by this blog, so when I first went to Facebook I figured that I needed to participate in the process by hooking up with people. I found a lot I knew and then a few other people whose interests seemed to be like mine so I connected with them as well. Lessons learned.

December 24th, 2011 | 12:26 AM

Mitch,

I totally get what you’re saying about “too many FB friends.” One day I looked up and saw that I had nearly 1400. What I’m finding is people who want to connect with me are friends of people I’m already connected to so they just figure they should be connected with me as well. Now, depending on the connection, I may or may not accept them.

Of all of the friends I have, I have about 20-30 who actively engage with me. I have de-friended a few folks in recent weeks.

My new playground is LinkedIn. I am finding boomer sites and media sites that I truly enjoy plus I am generating more sales from there.

December 24th, 2011 | 11:08 AM

Bev, I’ll have to check to see if we’re connected on LinkedIn. As for FB, you have that many friends? Wow! I’d expect you to have a lot of people on your FB business page, that’s for sure.

December 24th, 2011 | 7:28 PM

Mitch,
I maintain multiple friends list on facebook to categorize my blog community, work friends, acquaintances, real friends etc. I then decide whom should I subscribe to – Some quality bloggers, all my friends and some acquaintances so that my profile stream is not cluttered.

The reality is that I hardly have probably a dozen real friends.

(The only issue here is that some of the family pictures etc that I am sharing at times reach unintended audience. Well, that’s the risk associated)
Ajith Prasad Edassery recently posted…Flipkart ReviewMy Profile

December 24th, 2011 | 12:46 PM

Ajith, I’ve never taken any time to create lists, and maybe that’s something I should do so I can make sure I’m seeing posts from specific people more often; is that how it works? And I restrict how many people get to see my brief missives, though stuff can always be shared, not necessarily because I have anything to hide but… I’m not really sure why.

December 24th, 2011 | 7:32 PM

Hey, I know what you mean…I found out that I can block News Feed on FB from whoever I want, so I can see just from ones from close friends. Also, maybe you can spend less time thinking who you should delete…if you don’t remember who that is, it’s great probability that it’s the same on the other side… I don’t believe people take it to seriously if you delete them unless they are really close friends…and you won’t delete them 🙂
However, I spent a lot of time excusing and explaining to my distant relatives why I didn’t want to add them on my FB, so being choosy can be also exhausting…

December 24th, 2011 | 1:26 PM

Now that’s an interesting thought Psi (nope, ain’t typing the entire name out lol). Many of those people really might not even remember who I am so worrying too much about them might be a waste of time. I’ll have to think about that one a bit more.

December 24th, 2011 | 7:34 PM

You do need to be careful when deleting friends. Some people may be hurt or offended which could lead to problems down the road especially if you need to work with this person in a professional setting.

December 25th, 2011 | 4:05 AM

It’s an interesting premise Misty, and one of the difficulties sometimes when looking at trying to trim one’s list.

December 25th, 2011 | 4:22 AM
Geraldine E. Reale:

Hi Mitch,

I totally agree with you! Right now I have 200+ pending friend request lol! 🙂
Geraldine E. Reale recently posted…Chromagen lensesMy Profile

December 26th, 2011 | 11:08 PM

I agree with you…especially why would one want to pare their list?the five points are really true….

December 27th, 2011 | 2:43 AM
ioana moise:

i got lot of invitation but i wont accepted.just those people whom i know i get them.
I totally agree with your posting
ioana moise recently posted…Windows 7 keyMy Profile

January 11th, 2012 | 12:17 PM