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Cleaning Up Facebook Friends List

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Is It Time to Clean Your Friends?

You’ve all seen the poll. It’s the one that reads “I’m cleaning up my Facebook friends…let me know if you would like to stay…”

It’s one of many similar polls that have been circulating on Facebook for over a year. The latest one, which showed up in my Newsfeed this morning, was posted over a year ago by a user named Alyssa Feig. Since then, nearly 300,000 people have voted, with the overwhelming majority (more than 286,000) voting YES.

In April 2011, a Facebook user named Heather Marie Hollingsworth posted a similar poll. It quickly went viral beyond her friends list. In just two weeks, the poll accumulated four million votes (again, the overwhelming majority voted YES), according to All Things D.

As a somewhat compulsive person, I find it satisfying to “clean” my Facebook friends list every once in a while to make sure I actually know all of the people I am “friends” with. But I’m not sure why anyone would feel the need to post this poll. Really — if someone is truly your friend, would they ever answer NO. Also, when I don’t want to read someone’s annoying mundane posts about how they need to do laundry, I simply hide them.

Am I missing something? Is there any real benefit to cleaning out your friends list? I figure if someone doesn’t want to be my Facebook friend, they’ll go ahead and unfriend me. No need opening myself up to rejection, you know.

The poll did get me wondering if I have too many Facebook friends (talk about a first world problem!). Wikihow.com suggests you should “cull your so-called Facebook friends by being discerning.” Their advice? Cull anyone who hasn’t liked or shared your posts; who posts spam on your wall; and anyone who is pushy or inflammatory. Keep anyone who posts things that make you happy; who provides a unique perspective; who responds to your posts.

Feel bad about deleting so-called friends? “Don’t feel guilty for removing the people who aren’t your real friends. Instead, feel empowered — you, the human, are taking back the power from the machine that wants you to perceive friendships where there are none,” advises WikiHow.com.

Hmmm. Maybe it’s time to clean my list after all. But I won’t ask friends whether they want to stay on my friends list. That won’t feel empowering at all!

What about you? Have you answered one of these polls? Would you ask your Facebook friends if they want to be “cleaned” off your friends list? Is it time to become more discerning about your Facebook friends?

Photo: Shutterstock.com/A Woman Hands 

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