Monday, November 2, 2009

The Ins and Outs of Social Media According to Me.

Yesterday, in a fit of pique, I de-friended someone on facebook. Why? Well, because she said something that offended me. I know, that's part of life on facebook. But she did it on my status thread. And when I responded to her comment, she replied in a way that pissed me off even more.

But that’s not when she got deleted. Oh, no. I spent the next several hours stewing (because that’s the way I roll), then fired off what I thought was a fairly diplomatic response. One that was carefully worded to make my feelings clear without actually accusing her of being an asshole (although clearly she was. Being an asshole, that is).

And you know what? Her reply made hulk EVEN MORE ANGRY.

That’s when I hit the big red X. And just like that, she was deleted from my life. Poof. Gone.

It felt good. For a few minutes. But then, being the hyper-sensitive, overly-anxious-to-please doormat that I am, I began to feel guilty. I wondered if she would notice. I almost sent her an apologetic friend request, but didn’t.

And that's when I began to wonder. What are the rules? When is it acceptable to de-friend (or re-friend) someone? Do you have to accept a friend request? What about twitter? I'm sure loftier minds than mine have come up with the answers, but quite frankly, I'm too lazy to go look for them.

So I started to assemble my own lists of, I don't know, dos and don'ts?  Here's what I've come up with so far:


When I first logged on to facebook, I didn't have any idea how I was going to use it. So I accepted anybody's friend request—my best friend's ex-boyfriend, my real estate agent, heck even my boss's boss had access to my profile.

But as I got into it, I realized facebook is not the place for business contacts. Rather, I use it to connect with friends and family—mostly people I don't see every day. Sure, I'm connected to most of my work friends, but they're not the focus of my activities there. That's when I learned to separate people into lists—and control who has access to what.

These days, before accepting a friend request, I ask myself, "Would I want to get a beer with this person?" If the answer is no, then you know what? I'm going to ignore you.

There's one exception to this rule—old high school acquaintances. I might not want to go to the reunion, but I still want to know what those frenemies are doing (unfortunately, not as badly as one would wish, for the most part).

Once I've accepted your friendship, I generally won't un-friend you (except in a fit of rage). However, if you're obnoxious, I will hide you. It's the passive agressive way to deal with negativity on facebook. Also, if you start trying to sell me something? Consider yourself cut.

Twitter is a different animal entirely. Most of my tweeps are people I've never met in real life. They're simply folks I find interesting, funny or just entertaining. Most of them are bloggers, a few of them are advertising gurus with a sprinkling of celebs thrown in, just for good measure.

Likewise, most of the people who follow me wouldn't know me if they passed me in the street. In fact, I'm amazed that more than 200 people actually find me interesting enough to follow my stream. Many of them are simply being polite. Apparently it's rude not to follow someone back if they follow you. But I still feel I should try to be entertaining.

So, I think about my tweets as mini blog posts, for the most part. You hear that advice all the time, but I try my best to capture the same flavor of junk I write here...only shorter.

Also, it is a community. So you have to participate in the conversation. Which is tough when you're flitting in and out during a workday and such, but I try. When I can. By the way, if I seem exceptionally conversational? You can bet it's a slow and/or crappy day at the office.


Let's face it. Without readers, you're just talking to yourself. Which is, you know. Kind of pointless? Also, if people do comment on your posts, it's only polite to talk back. Otherwise you come off as...vain (By the way, I know I'm bad about this. But I'm trying to get better!).

So, how do you get readers? By getting out there. Reading and commenting on other people's blogs. And making friends. At least, that's what I'm trying to do. It's a lot of fun! There are so many smart, funny and wickedly entertaining people out there, I could spend all day just reading blogs.

One of these days, I'll get around to updating my blog roll, and then you can all see just how addicted to blogging I am. But for now, you'll just have to take my word for it.

I could go on, but I have a feeling I've already talked your ears off for far too long. So I'll leave it there for now. What do you guys think? How do you use social media?



  1. I started blogging over 7 years ago. Mostly to try and become a better writer, so I said. Honestly it was more like free therapy. Now I use Twitter and Facebook to spread my thoughts and join conversations. I also have made some pretty great friendships along the way. Some of which came to a point of deleting. I think that is just part of the online life.

  2. Just did a major culling on my facebook...delete, delete, delete. Twas a lot of fun, I can tell you.

  3. I use FB to connect with friends and family. And old high school friends. And more recently bloggy people...:)

    Twitter...I have twitter but I have TONS more followers in blogging. I have like 39 followers in twitter. Like it. It's like FB for people who have ADHD.

    I like social media. It has been great for the writer in me. I have met TONS of authors and some publisher friends... YEAH! Good for me since I am a writer.

    Sorry bout the incident you had with your friend. I had one similar 6 months ago. I left him as a friend and now we are all better. It seems that some people don't really want me to leave comments on their profile page every day and...loooong story. We are better now. 'Nuf said.

  4. In my opinion, deleting a Facebook friend-turned-asshole is totally acceptable. Especially if you're the grudge-holding type.

  5. I love defriending people on Facebook. People who use Facebook like Twitter get hidden for me.
    It's like weight off the shoulders to hide or defriend.

    Tweeting...Last week I upgraded to an iPhone from my 1999 flip phone, so I can play with all the other tweeps. So far I'm following all of 8 people. And no one is following me - boo hoo.

    But blogging... I love blogging. I love the social aspect of it- reading about others. There is this whole, weblebrity kind of feel to it. I love self-promoting, and love, love the comment interchange between me and my readers.

    But I also feel like I am shouting into a world of nothingness at times too. I just started a new blog- and now manage 4 blogs- each with a very distinct feel and tone and voice.

    I'm also starting to do some social networking for work- creating fan and twitter pages for our organization. It's pretty amazing how things are changing so fast - keeping up with it all could be another full time job.

  6. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds deleting therapeutic. Not that I'm a grudge holder...only impetuous.

    Hey, that was a big word for this early in the morning.

    E, I'm totally going to go find you on twitter now. What's the new blog?

    BTW, anyone know if there's a way you can respond to individual comments on blogger?

  7. when i got home from blogher i deleted a bunch of peeps from my twitter follows. it felt good. facebook i don't pay that much attention to. i don't really pay attention to numbers on twitter either. i obsess over my blog. over how many comments, hits, friend/followers. it drives me insane.

  8. I created my facebook account back in 2006 when I moved to the USA from China (after living there for a year) as a way to stay connected to the friends I had met. In the past year I was get friend requests from everyone and anyone. At first I was excited and accepted all requests. But like you, a couple of snarky remarks from old high school buds left a bad taste in my mouth. I actually deleted all but my original friends and accept almost no one any longer.

    twitter - I can't follow everyone back - I tried once and I just can't keep up with the tweets. I would love to - but my brain doesn't process that fast.

    blogger - readers - get out there - comment comment and comment - it gets people (well sometimes) to come to your blog

  9. i am dumbfounded by the people who follow thousands of people. I mean, really? How do you keep up? I'm just not that social of a person... or organized.

  10. AMber, my lack of network organization has bit me in the arse... I just got a request from you on twitter for an account I created... lost the password for... didn't know i existed.

    I'm Lipsticke on Twitter. isn't quite ready for prime time, but I am working on it :)

  11. 1: totally get you on the whole facebook thing. I WANT to see who is marrying who from high school and who is already popping out

    2: I don't think I will ever understand twitter. Ever.

    3: the responding to comments from others...I do understand your dilemma. I mean, you respond in your head but sometimes it just doesn't quite make it to the written word...but it's not because we don't like you...we're just lazy.

  12. I recently went on a "hiding" rampage on Facebook, trying to just cut the emotional clutter - because I found myself grumbling over and over again reading updates from people I should never have friended in the first place or just don't care about, etc. This way there are no hurt feelings? It will work for now.

  13. I use all these too, Facebook just for people I know and before accepting them, I just ask myself do I really want them knowing what I'm up to? If not, I ignore them.

    I wuold not feel guilty changing my mind and defriending someone, especially if I don't like what they write or if the write too much and clog up my wall.

    Twitter I just follow those who I am interested in. I don't follow everyone who follows me and don't feel guilty about it. I want tweets I'm interested in reading.

    Blogging is my favorite. I love reading and commenting on others blogs and of course enjoy getting comments on mine.

    I follow blogs I found interesting and want to revisit. To get on my blogroll, those have to either be very informative about a topic I care about or else ones I want to visit on a regular basis.

  14. I deleted a poisonous person from my facebook, and eventually my life, and it felt so good. I then ignored her subsequent attempts to friend me again. She then enlisted one of her friends to friend me so she could catch me off gaurd...I was hip to her game, so I deleted from reading my private family blog...touche. This led to a not-so-nice message on my voicemail...but what do I care?

    I use FB and twitter as a guilty pleasure. I blog to digitally preserve our family life. My husband uses his blog, FB and twitter specifically for our business, and networking. So far it's proven VERY successful.


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