My First Act of Unfriending

1/28/2010

I’m 44 years old and I’ve un-friended someone for the first time. And I’ve stopped wringing my hands about it.

My first experience with Facebook was in 2003 or 2004, when I was teaching at a community college. I set up my Facebook account under my dog’s name, as an object lesson on how you can’t trust information you find on the internet with out independent verification.

In 2007, I moved to the Raleigh-Durham area, and converted my Facebook page from my dog to myself. My Facebook friends steadily grew. People I’d moved away from ‘friended’ me. I thought it was great. Then a wall post appeared. I deleted it. I didn’t want people posting on my ‘wall’, as I was using Facebook for personal and professional purposes to promote my consulting business, www.cameronknowles.com. I had just added a new client, www.nowellsfurniture.com, and did not want anything I didn’t know about or approve popping up that might jeopardize the relationship.

Next came the occasional picture ‘tag’. I found the security setting to ‘approve’ photos. As time went on, I relaxed about the wall and photos, as long as they weren’t obscene. The line between work and play has blurred in my world, but I still keep an eye on things.

Flash forward to this week. A ‘friend’ started hitting my wall with pointless apps. Never mind what it was. There was no message. There was no point. Just someone who was bored firing requests off in all directions. After the sixth wall post, I felt like my wall had been vandalized and I had to go out with the bucket and brush to scrub it off.

The best part of Facebook is the ‘personal’ connections I’ve made, but these seemed so impersonal. I’ve ‘unfriended’ my first person and have no regrets.