I Conduct Ruthless MySpace/Facebook Purges

I feel like a whore when I look at my long list of Facebook and MySpace friends.

I don’t know most of these people.

I look at my news feed on Facebook (my lukeisback@gmail.com addy) and it rarely tells me anything about anyone I care about.

Reihan Salam writes on Slate.com:

What should you do when someone you don’t like or don’t know sends you a friend request?

Most of you will hold your nose and accept the request. But why? This is like allowing a corsair-wielding pirate to board your vessel without a fight. Once you’ve accepted too many faux friends, Facebook becomes a real slog. One of the site’s great strengths is that it allows you to manage privacy settings: Do you want everyone you went to college with to see your photos, or only actual friends? That ability to customize is great, but once you’ve accepted someone as a friend, policing these subtle gradations can be a drag.

There’s also an information overload problem. When your friends update their profiles, the new info filters out to you via the News Feed, a constantly updated digest of seemingly mundane facts that can, over time, give you a neat, evolving portrait of your friends’ outer lives. (And, of course, your updates also filter out, so anyone who cares will eventually discover, say, your affinity for Grandma’s Boy.) The further your online social graph veers from your real social life, the less useful your News Feed becomes. Soon you’ll find that most of the headlines are about people you barely know. And who wants that?

So, back to that unwanted friend request. Assuming there will be no social fallout, just ignore it. They probably won’t notice, particularly if we’re dealing with a promiscuous friender. (You know, the kind of person who thinks, "I need to break 700 friends so I can rid myself of my crippling sense of shame." Trust me, it won’t work.) And if you fear a backlash, just say,

Um, hey, this is really awkward, but I actually only accept friend requests from other Muslims. Allah commands it. Sorry, man.

I find this works pretty well. If you are very fetching, it’s possible that your would-be friend is—let’s be frank—cyber-stalking you. This behavior is so pervasive as to be almost unremarkable, but that doesn’t make it right. Ignore the request or, if you must, apply a privacy setting that will keep prying eyes at bay.

Somebody told me months ago that I had two Facebook accounts. Today I logged in to the neglected one (with the lukeford@ca.rr.com email address) for the first time and found 32 friend requests, mainly from real friends, and an email from a hot chick back on January 13 wanting to be my first friend.

So now I have two active Facebook accounts and it seems a bit overwhelming.

(OK, I just deleted the neglected one.)

This morning, I went through my friends on Facebook and MySpace and got rid of everybody I didn’t know (about half) including some hot chicks. There was one woman on there with whom I enjoyed a torrid weekend in Vegas in January 2006. I almost deleted her today (she’s now married) but kept her on for sentimental reasons.

I’m a romantic.

Still, I can’t believe I did those intimate things with a shiksa with "very liberal" political views and an avowed atheist.

Where are my standards? 

Despair over Holly Randall drove me to it.


I wish I was stronger.

Dude, where’s my levitra?

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
This entry was posted in Personal and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.