Rethinking Social: From 300 To 30 Facebook Friends

Rethinking Social: From 300 To 30 Facebook Friends


Last week over a period of two days I unfriended most of my Facebook people.

I went from 300 people I know the names of to 30 people I know. Immediate family, friends. A handful of online people I know from the pre-social web days.

Easier To Share

  • Sharing with the core is easier when there’s nothing but the core.
  • I wanted to go from having to filter whom I post to, to sharing family news and photos without a second thought.
  • While I can share and exchange anywhere else with any setup, for many sharing == Facebook. I have to be here for and with them.


Relations consume time, attention, affection. Of each I have a finite amount. Where should I best invest it?

Besides the question What’s the return of a Like on status update of someone I only know by name I increasingly realized; who cares?

There’s a difference between the reaction of my mother and you when I show you both a photo of me holding a baby.

There is a level of caring for that directly influences the level of caring about.

Lifetime is really precious and I need to use it as genuine, relaxed, and joyful as I can; the relationships I live need to be real.

It Was Strangely Difficult

Weird but true.

Sometimes I clicked away a name and it was a Name, you know? Someone who is someone in the industry. And for a moment it made me feel like "there goes a valuable contact" or "I could be considered important merely by association, merely by the fact that this Person has friended me back".

I don’t want to be that guy, want to be way beyond all that, super mature and such, but there it was; a pang of oi…

Other names were hard to click away because it felt like ending an era, ending a period in my life.

But The Result

For the first time in a long time I go with real fun and joy to Facebook where I know I’m meeting with my clan. It’s a smaller place but it will do.


Elsewhere my social web is different.

Twitter is my public network although there too I trim. I share differently there too.

I’m rearranging my abode at Google+ Plus, liking the place quite a lot. Less of a water cooler than Twitter it’s a place where I look far beyond the SEO industry I work in.

2 Replies to “Rethinking Social: From 300 To 30 Facebook Friends”

  1. Ruud, I’ve been doing the same thing, though not all at once. I decided, same as you, to reduce my Facebook friends to people I’ve physically met, mainly my family and a few close friends. I know the feeling when you remove someone who you know online and wondering what they might think. Did I lose a connection? Did I leave someone wondering what they did for me to remove them.

    Ultimately I think this could get me to use Facebook more since now I don’t post because of the effort of having to filter things.

  2. I enjoy Facebook again for the first time in a long while. I see posts from family members while before my timeline was … well, nonsense, really. I’m very satisfied with it and Facebook has become really useful this way.

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