I’ve been asked by a bunch of people in social media why I fired my Facebook friends to make my online life much happier right now.
In fact, I fired over 3,500 of them.
For a moment, imagine yourself in the boardroom on Donald Trump’s TV show The Apprentice. (I know there may be many repulsed with that thought because of today’s hostile political climate, yet bear with me for a moment)
You and a few others didn’t succeed at a given task and one of you is going to get fired.
Everyone in the room is getting nervous.
No one wants to be humiliated by being fired on national television.
After the long, pregnant pause needed for TV purposes, The Donald looks around the room, focuses on the person next to you and says, “You’re Fired!”
Feeling relieved, you live to fight another day.
Size Doesn’t Matter
There are so many people in social media are obsessed with numbers.
Most are impressed when they see someone with 1.5 million followers on Twitter, 750,000 followers on Instagram, or 10 million views of a YouTube video.
I admit that for a while got caught up in the numbers for a period of time.
But think about this for a moment…
Would you be upset if you had only three people following you on Twitter?
Most people would be depressed.
In fact, you may be asking yourself, “Why doesn’t anybody like me?”
Isn’t the bottom line that everyone wants to feel loved?
However, your number of followers never tells the full story.
Now what if I told you that one of your three followers was Oprah Winfrey.
Would you still be depressed? Most likely, you would be feel about 10 feet tall.
This is proof that it’s not all about the numbers.
Until there are metrics that measure the quality of your numbers, don’t get too caught up in the large ones.
My Wake Up Call
Luckily, I have some pretty wise and genuine friends.
A while back, my buddy Joel Comm sends me a Facebook private message and said in a nice way, “Why the heck are doing this?”
It’s always good to have smart friends call you out privately on your stuff.
On Facebook, they have changed the algorithm where it was very difficult for all your friends to see your posts.
The less engagement you have, the less people see your post.
This puts you a little bit of a “which came first, the chicken or the egg” type of dilemma.
I used to do what many did which was to tag people in a bunch of posts.
This caused people to engage by liking and commenting on those posts.
However, I quickly began to feel that I was just taking a shortcut and not really become authentically engaged with my tribe.
Joel’s question/comment to me helped put things in perspective and I should just follow my gut.
Here’s How I Fired My Facebook Friends (“The Purge”)
With having almost 5,000 friends (currently the maximum allowed) on Facebook, I noticed that there were thousands in which I was not engaged rarely saw their posts in my newsfeed.
At this point, I had two options:
A. Track every single person down and start a conversation with them, or
B. Unfriend those people where there was no significant engagement for about a year or two.
Obviously, it would be nearly impossible, as well as exhausting, to click on every profile to see if there was any engagement.
I simply went by the eye test. In looking at their name, I would quickly determine if they sounded familiar. If not, they would immediately be deleted.
This is my version of saying, “You’re fired!”
Granted, it took a lot of time to delete people at first before found a quick way to delete someone.
Using my phone, I found people that had a lot of mutual friends with some people.
In looking at the list of our mutual friends, I used the eye test to delete or keep them.
If I didn’t recognize them, they would be deleted in only two clicks.
It got to the point where I was deleted 20-30 people a minute.
For some reason, it took longer to unfriend someone on my laptop.
If you desire to purge in a much slower fashion, you can view the birthday list on Facebook.
If you don’t recognize the name, fire them.
In doing this process, I was able to quickly determine if it is someone that I’m aligned with or desired to further an online social or business relationship.
Every so often, isn’t it smart to reevaluate relationships?
Some are healthy and others clearly are not.
I’m sure that some people connected with me because I’m very active on social media. Some may had even connected with me because of my involvement with the Golden Globes and Academy Awards.
Just as in any relationship in life, engagement is a two-way street.
In social media, engagement is the lifeline of relationships.
If there is no engagement, there is no logical reason to be connected.
Not surprisingly, I didn’t hear from anyone that I just deleted.
You never know, at some time in the future they may wonder why we are no longer friends and desire to reconnect.
Sometimes, clearing up your friends list can be a little emotionally draining.
And then, an amazing thing happened.
Since the percentage of the people I engaged with dramatically increased, I was able to see more people and I believe more people were able to see me.
Since my feed became cleaner, I began to see updates from people that I used to be engaged with a while back.
It was almost like seeing a long lost friend.
In fact, the engagement on most of my posts immediately following the purge tripled!
Yes, more people can now see my posts and I can see theirs.
This may sound weird, yet my online life has improved as soon as I fired my Facebook friends.