Late night host Jimmy Kimmel has dubbed today National Un-friend Day. Not that I needed an invitation. I have made no secret of the fact that I am a habitual un-friender. I know that seems a bit odd since I’m in the Marketing industry. One would think my goal would be to reach as many connections as possible. But that’s not all together accurate.
I’m sure most Marketers will agree that a good strategy is about quality not quantity. Our social media network is simply an extension of our personal network. Personal Growth experts say it is not healthy to work at relationships that don’t bring us value. I ask, shouldn’t relational wealth extend to our online connections?
So why is it that people have such a hard time Un-friending or Ignoring connections that lack luster? I think the answer is simple, no one likes rejection. Its like saying ‘no’ to the kid in the candy store. We feel bad when we tell the kid ‘no’, or we imply that someone is not worthy of friending. But thats not necessarily the same thing. You could actually be doing yourself and others a favor by unfriending them.
For example, today I un-friended a guy that has been trying to sell me costume jewelry from Singapore. Needless to say, I won’t be buying his wares (ever) and his constant emails and posts were filling my inbox and news feed. So I did us both a favor and sacked him. Now he doesn’t take up MY valuable social space and HE is free to find someone that wants a foe diamond ring. Seems like a win-win to me.
Un-friending also solves another problem. Tainting my brand and reputation. When someone friends one of my mutual friends, my trusted connection automatically accepts them because they trust me. The trust that I have worked to earn is automatically extended to anyone on my list. So Singapore Jewelry Guy hit about 30 people on my list in 2 days. About 20 accepted him and now they are mad a me. Now all of us are cross contaminated with promises of “like the real thing” ads. What a bummer.
Just to wrap this up, I don’t believe un-friending is un-friendly at all. It could be considered a courtesy if you ask me.