Filter Out Fake Facebook Friends

If each friend came knocking at your door impromptu, would you open?

Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash

My Introduction to Facebook

I got on Facebook around 2009. It was just a trending fad some of my colleagues were talking about. Initially, I thought it was some kind of list or protocol list the university put together. It was later I got the explanation.

It started out as a place to keep tabs with my colleagues. And gradually I discovered it was a good place to keep in touch with long-time friends and old schoolmates.

I wasn’t an everyday user because of school work. But I checked in every time I had the chance. Back then, I wasn’t using a smartphone. And the majority of the phones you could call “smart” then were Symbian.

The Turnoff

The turn off for Facebook came gradually. My juniors in school started sending me requests. In the bid not to be mean, I accepted all their requests. And then came acquaintances I don’t really know but whose name and faces look familiar. I kept accepting as long as they were familiar.

I was busy with school work at this time, so I didn’t really feel the impact on my homepage. However, one day, I sat to enjoy some social vibes on Facebook and I couldn’t recognize 80% of what was on my page.

I kept looking around and thinking:

Who are these people?

Yes, I have an idea about who most of them are. But I don’t know them this much for them to spoon-feed me with their private lives and paparazzi.

Shortly after that incident, I took a break from Facebook. Not that I decided never to visit again, it just never appealed to me to go back. That is because I know I will see things I don’t want to.

It so turns out I was not the only one pissed off like that on Facebook. A friend of mine who was fairly popular grew her “Facebook friends” over 4,000. Apparently, she is bad at rejecting people or telling them NO.

I tried reaching her on Facebook one time and didn’t get through. Finally, I did meet her face-to-face. She said she grew tired of all the “friends” she had on the platform that she didn’t really know.

The Test

A young entrepreneur narrated his own experience which was also similar to mine. He looked at his homepage and thought, who are these people? He then proceeded to do something drastic.

He decided to trim his friends on the platform to continue enjoying it. Here was his test:

If this Facebook friend knocked on my door this afternoon, would I open the door for him or just ignore?

That was the test. It was used evenly and fairly on everyone connected to him on the network. And his experience became much better.

This is what I will do when I start using Facebook again

I understand that Facebook now has a system where you can create a circle of close friends. But it still doesn’t solve the problem for a lot of people. The fault is not Facebook’s, it is ours. It isn’t proper for Facebook to make the hard decision for us. Test your “friends” and screen out those you need to.

There are people who are Facebook friends for business purposes or for a particular future social advantage. Those can be exceptions, but I’d say you shouldn’t overthink it.

If you are still hesitant because you don’t want people to feel bad, take 2 or 3 weeks off without even commenting or liking any post. Then, just do the test. And reemerge.

If you are a daily Facebook user and your homepage irritates you, this is something you have to do.

Love yourself.

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