If you like me and have a Facebook account then click over and like me on Facebook today.
I joined Facebook in the spring of 2005 when the social networking site was only open to people with dot-edu email addresses. I was in graduate school at the time, and signed up.
After participating in and watching the evolution of the site over the years, I recently evaluated what a Facebook friendship means. I recalled what it meant in 2005 and how that notion has changed today. I recollected few matches between my email list and Facebook accounts in 2005 and 2006 and 2007, and how it was mainly in the past 24 months that the whole world seemingly joined Facebook and I seemingly accepted or initiated mutual friendships.
I thought about what someone’s status update meant to me then vs what it means now, and I gauged how often I commented on someone’s wall over the past month vs that person commenting on mine.
The ensuing revelation led me to enact five things…
First, I created this page in my likeness.
Second, I posted an update to the fans of my blog’s fan page that the page was going inactive and asked people to like me here instead.
Third, I posted an update to the fans of my city council campaign fan page that it, too, was going inactive and asked people to like me here instead. (I’ll resurrect the campaign page when I run for re-election.)
Fourth, I severed mutual friendships with about 200 people who were colleagues, clients, classmates, constituents, or other typologies. If I didn’t remember the last time I read someone’s update (due to having too many friends) or that person commenting on mine (due to likely the same), I clicked the x button.
Fifth, if I didn’t sever that relationship yet, then I am in the process of messaging certain people and asking them to like me here instead.
Anyone who opts to “like” me will start seeing updates in their news feed from Ari B. Herzog. That’s the page; remove the middle initial and you have my profile. Any friendship requests from people who are not family or close friends will be asked to like me on the page. I don’t need to approve people to like me; either you do or you do not.
Hindsight is 20/20 and I should have done this six months ago when I defriended 1,025 people. I didn’t think about creating a master page at the time.
In the wake of musing to delete my Facebook account, and subsequently reading a wealth of opinions on the subject from Adriel Hampton who killed his account to Robert Scoble who kept his account, I ultimately agreed with Baratunde Thurston that deleting a Facebook account would be too damaging to me.
I’d like to bring down my mutual friendships to people who are only family or close friends. I’ll decide what constitutes a close friend. I ask anyone else to accept not being Facebook friends and opt to like me instead and follow my updates via the page. Make sense?