Why You Should Never Delete Your Facebook Friends

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By Danny Rubin

One of these days you swear you’re going to do it.

You’ll log into Facebook, head straight for your list of friends and start deleting people.

You know, the girl you haven’t talked to since middle school. The random dude you met at a party who you haven’t spoken to in five years.

The person you haven’t seen in so long that you forgot how you met in the first place.

A columnist on The Huffington Post said that deleting people is like a crash diet. He even called it a ‘Facebook cleanse.’

Getting your house in order is a great idea — except on social media. The Web has made us so interconnected and accessible that to delete people from your online world could harm you personally and professionally.

Here’s why:

Every person you delete on Facebook is one less networking opportunity down the road.

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Life happens in funny ways. Out of nowhere, you could suddenly need a person you haven’t heard from in a decade.

For example, you’re in the job market and looking at accounting firms. You go to your list of Facebook friends, use the ‘search by workplace’ option and find that Lauren, your old pal from 7th grade social studies, works at the company you had your eye on.

So naturally, you send your long-lost friend a FB message, reconnect and hope she can put in a good word.

But what if you ‘unfriended’ Lauren months ago during an impassioned ‘Facebook cleanse’?

With Lauren gone from your list, there is almost no way you would know she works at the accounting firm.

That’s the power of Facebook. The social network allows everyone to remain loosely connected without having to interact on a regular basis. Just being ‘friends’ on Facebook keeps us tied together.

Of course, there are plenty of studies that say maintaining a huge list of people on Facebook is bad for us.

Like this one from Men’s Health:

‘Researchers asked a sample group of Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 65 to read some of their friends’ status updates. Afterward, those Facebook users rated their lives as much less satisfying than people who didn’t check their news feed first.’

Sure. We probably don’t need to read everything about everyone all the time. But there’s no way to predict which FB friend could be the one to help you land a new job or even recommend a solid babysitter, plumber or painter.

Let’s say a buddy from high school — who lives across town but you haven’t seen in years — just purchased a new house. You know that because he posted photos of the home on Facebook. You’re also in the market for a new house so you shoot him a message about mortgage rates, real estate agents or home values.

Without being ‘friends’ on Facebook, the conversation simply wouldn’t have happened.

We spend our entire lives amassing a network of people. Why cut them loose because they aren’t front and center in our world?

Just think: a person from way back in the day could hold the keys to your future dream job.

Aren’t you glad you didn’t hit ‘delete‘?

Do you take pleasure in deleting FB ‘friends’ on a regular basis? Or do you not really care to clean things up?

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 © 2013, Danny Rubin

Comments

  1. If a person deletes me as a facebook friend they’re pretty much dead to me.

  2. If your an asshole your gone. Poof just like magic! I dont care if your a millionaire.

  3. Honestly? We spend so much time wrapped up in the worry of what that one single friend from 7th grade might hold for us that we never even consider that they might be bad for us. The people who we interact with daily or “see” daily, influence us for better or worse. To have all these hundreds of friends really makes you the one losing out unless they are posting up amazing reads that uplift and make you smarter. Unfortunately, mostly people just type out whatever comes to mind and most of it tends to be shallow thoughts. Ever wonder why our society tends to be getting less intelligent, it’s probably because they spend all their lives following the mediocre thoughts of hundreds of people on a day to day basis! Are they out there cracking a book on George Washington or scanning the skies with a telescope or tinkering around with some gadget that makes them think and process and evaluate? No! They don’t. They most likely spend their time on screens doing MEANINGLESS activities that will NEVER amount to anything. I think social media has made us less intelligent, and no one needs to hang onto people who post Memes incessantly that aren’t even remotely humorous. Why is it wrong to cleanse through all those people who you wouldn’t talk to in real life anyways? Why subject yourself? Again, unless they inspire you for the better then yeah keep them on, if not, let them go. We don’t keep random pieces of paper from the past hoping they’ll someday turn into winning lottery tickets.

    • I 100% agree with you, Em. It’s assumed in the original post that if you delete someone, you could miss out on an opportunity. However, it’s not mentioned that a person could miss out on a better opportunity elsewhere away from the internet but because that person is online all the time, they will never know of what could have laid ahead.
      The simple act of getting off your butt and going out to find out information sought by individuals appears to have gone and is now replaced with internet searches and rifling through friends updates and photos.

      In my view, you should do whatever you feel is right for yourself. Pleasing people and keeping them on your friend list to spare hurt feelings and bruised egos can become increasingly annoying in the sense that you’re playing along for these pathetic adult teenagers who treat social media like the playground that they can’t go back to with all these “friends”. However, you want to be able to enjoy social networking with people who you want in your life. Like you say, would this person have this much access to your life if Facebook never existed? Does this person you rarely interact with on Facebook interact with you away from the monitor? So why do they care?

  4. Quee tal,
    Reconozco es la unica vez que he leido este blog y quiero decir que no esta mal y
    seguramente me tendras mas veces por aqui.
    Saludos!

  5. I think the whole social media stuff is over rated and it really hurts us from a REAL social standpoint. I got rid of FB, never did twitter, never instagram, etc…. it becomes all too consuming and in the end, REAL FRIENDS, are ones that you see on a daily or weekly basis FACE TO FACE.

    You can’t really be friends with people, especially when the two places they spend most of their time is at home or at work. So, that leaves nurturing a friendship with people in your INNER CIRCLE, which is 9 out of 10 times at WORK….our colleagues or coworkers become our friends.

    You can’t invite a FB friend over to the house or hang out if they leave across the U.S…..I think social media has done more harm than good and what happen to picking up a damn phone and talking to your old HS buddy or college friend? What happen visiting people and making TIME for them physically? It’s gotten away from us and when that happens, it’s time to move on, find a new set of TRUE friends that have the REAL TIME for you and can hang out and spend REAL TIME not social media time with you.

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