This morning I made a bold decision: I’m un-friending nearly everyone on Facebook. It’s just plain too much for one person to handle — the constant interruption of this and that and brick-a-brack. I simply don’t have the capacity to care anymore. Not in any way.
The reason I have so many distracting connections is because I bought into the hype from 2008 where we were all supposed to friend everyone we knew and everyone we had ever met, and then expose ourselves to the constant drivel of their lives. For a while it was spectacularly interesting. Then it became somewhat disturbing. Today it seems downright unimportant.
Back in 2008 people were actually running their own profiles, and they had years—no— decades of stored up witticisms and astute observations pent up inside of them, just aching for an outlet. It was so cool to tap into this steady stream of ideas I’d never had before and new ways of thinking about things.
Fast forward to 2012 and it is obvious that we’ve all pretty much run out of interesting things to say. Many of the most intelligent, most “friended” business leaders have outsourced their updates and writing to a small army of 20 year olds. Not that there’s anything wrong with 20 year olds, but I miss the wit and wisdom just a little.
Take this as a warning shot across the bow, business. The masses are bored and they’re reclaiming their attention span. Those of you who have a Facebook profile “just because you think you should” are part of the problem, but the even more egregious error in social media is perpetrated by companies who have created the Persona.
If you’ve created a fictional hipster persona at your company to do all of your Tweeting and Facebook updates, you’d better ‘up the ante’ in your content creation. Not only does this fictional content stream need to be interesting, it has to sound actually real. Your audience has become savvier than Tim Roth, the detective on “Lie to Me” at sniffing out real people versus corporate personas.
According to my sources, I’m not the only one un-friending to start out the New Year. There’s a groundswell of irritation about Facebook in particular, followed by Twitter and Google +. (LinkedIn is the only social network that has avoided this Love/Hate relationship so far, probably because it has stayed true to its mission throughout the social media frenzy.)
Who will be cut: First will be all business pages, followed closely by business avatars and salespeople who became connections because they heard me lecture somewhere along the line. Next are strategic partners who aren’t friends. I’m also getting rid of everyone from high school and old co-workers. (Get over it, people)
Survivors of the cut include: Family and close friends who aren’t aggravating. That’s it.
Get ready for the Real Social Media, where we actually use it to connect to people we love. Business, we’re going to have to find another way in … Again. But look at the bright side; I suspect there is another avenue for customer relations coming along in a few months. We’re on the Internet — there’s always something new. I can feel the next breakthrough blazing through development now.
Marci De Vries is president of MDV Interactive, a web consulting firm in Baltimore. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.