Stacy Lukasavitz passionately argued six months ago that Facebook Pages should exist for organizations and celebrities, but not everyday people.
I’m tired of regular people thinking they’re special unique snowflakes and deserve their own fan page just to boost their own egos. Non-public figure fan pages cheapens the value of fan pages for those who actually are public figures.
I wrote a comment at the time, referencing fan pages I maintained here and there. (They’ve since been replaced by facebook.com/aribherzog which exists as a distribution channel for things I am writing and liking, and which 89 people have opted into being a fan of today.)
Stacy understood where I came from and admitted she was not writing about folks like me, but about other people, as she elaborated in this response:
They are not elected officials, they don’t have high-volume blogs like yours, they are not celebrities even in the most minor sense, and they have no real reason to have a fan page other than to make themselves feel better about themselves. If that’s what it takes for them to justify their self worth, then fine, but to the outside world, including me and others who have privately messaged me and don’t want to publicly comment here, it looks ostentatious.
If you search this blog for the word Facebook, you’ll see numerous results about the social networking site. I’ve struggled for 18 months whether I should accept friend requests from the world, as I used to do, or if I should keep my friendships to only people I know intimately and have either physically met or spoken to on the phone, as it is now. It frustrates me that Facebook friend requests require mutuality.
Rereading Chris Brogan’s short-lived experimentation of having a Facebook page to boost branding — explaining why he created the page in January 2009 and why he deleted it by June — I blinked and had an epiphany.
See, I receive a lot of Facebook friend requests. Some people read this blog and want to befriend its writer. Some people see me speak at a workshop and want to befriend and learn more. Some people live in Newburyport and want to befriend their city councilor. Some people went to high school or college with me and want to befriend a classmate. Some people this, some people that.
Considering 99% don’t write anything in the optional box explaining why they want to be my friend, I am forced to guess — and for the better parts of 2009 and 2010, I encouraged those relative strangers to like my page instead.
My Facebook usage changes today.
I don’t know what I want to do with the facebook.com/aribherzog page, and I am open to your suggestions.
Not unlike Chris’ explanation why he deleted his page, I don’t want my page to be about how many people like it. I want your time on Facebook to be productive and being forced to like a page to interact with me is counterproductive. If you prefer to be my friend, send me a friend request. If you prefer to be my fan like me, you can do that too. I want you to use Facebook how you want to use it, and not abide by arbitrary rules I create.
I recognize Facebook users have their own reasons for accepting all friend requests versus being selective in their mutuality.
But I also recognize it is silly to force you to adapt to my Facebook rules, so I am saying goodbye to them and saying hello to efficient organization of my web experience.