I have done it. I have accomplished the impossible. I have deleted my Facebook profile.
Okay, I haven’t, but I seriously considered it. I decided instead of a full deletion I would simply downsize my Facebook footprint. First, I took stock of what was on Facebook. I had almost 800 friends, 100 pages I liked, probably not the most flattering photos of me, a fan page and group page. Where to begin?
1. I made my Facebook completely private. In other words, my personal Facebook page is friends only.
2. I began to delete friends.
This is probably the toughest thing to do. I felt awful deleting people, but I had to tell myself, “Aaron, you don’t know, have never met, will never meet, don’t care to meet, don’t care about, haven’t spoken to this person in 15 years”. These people were deleted. I went from about 800 to around 500 friends. I still scan my newsfeed everyday for names that I need to get rid of. If you are wanting some simple guidelines here are some good ones in my opinion.
1. Do I know this person in person? If no, delete.
2. Do I skip every status update this person has ever made? If yes, delete.
3. Have I had a meaningful conversation with this person in the past 3 years? If no, delete.
4. Is this person an important business contact? If yes, add them on your Linkedin.com page and get them off your personal Facebook. Please keep your personal and business contacts separate.
5. Do I only receive spam from this person? i.e. games invitations. If yes, delete.
6. Am I friends with this person simply because I feel like they will be mad if I delete them? If yes, delete. Trust me, they won’t even notice.
I feel this is an important first step and a big hurdle to get over. It’s important to realize you probably use Facebook to stay in touch with folks you genuinely want to know about. We don’t need more clutter in our lives, so it’s important that we weed out the people that we simply don’t care about.
Soon I will post how I dealt with my fan/group pages, photos, and profile; also my review of Posterous.com