You know who they are, your better-than-a-friend soulmate who just gets you. They are the people who understand your quirks, know your strengths, and love you for your weaknesses. These are the friends you hold on to and work to keep the relationship active and healthy.
Then, there are those people who drift into your life for a few weeks or a few years. They’ll be fun, and you’ll like hanging out with them, but as soon as life changes (one of you moves away, or gets a new job, or graduates, etc.) and the two of you drift apart.
For many, seeing a friendship dissolve summons up a fair amount of guilt. There’s this feeling that we should have time and energy for every single person who comes into our lives, always, even if the connection doesn’t make sense anymore. The glue that held the friendship together in the beginning is no longer there and interactions have become awkward. While this goes against possibly everything you’ve ever heard about being a good friend, understand that it’s okay to let go. You only have so many hours and so much energy each day to spend on the people who are important to you. Save that energy for the people you truly resonate with.
Pruning your social media friends
Consider your last social media scrolling session. Did you find posts from people you don’t remember meeting? Did you find any posts that argued against things that are important to you in a disrespectful way? If you’re finding your feed isn’t, well, feeding you in a positive way, then it’s time to prune back the dead growth.
If you choose to do so, DO NOT make a big deal about it. You don’t owe an explanation to anyone about who you allow into your feed. Don’t write a post asking people to prove why you should keep them around, that kind of behavior is borderline toxic, and worse, the people you really want in your feed most likely don’t tend to respond to that kind of post.
Keep things simple, if there are people who drive you bonkers, or if they post things that take away from your happiness – go ahead and unfriend. They never need to know. If that’s too big of a step, you can also choose to mute them for a while.
Thou shalt not friend in the name of business
In the authoring world, it’s really hard to get your name out there. The competition for attention is fierce and it’s tempting to do unethical things to get more eyes on your books. One of the things I’ve noticed both new business owners and new authors do is to friend as many people as they can. The moment the friendship is accepted, they immediately request that new friend to like their business page.
The second that happens to me, I feel used. They didn’t friend me because they thought I was a cool person, they did it because they wanted to try to sell me something. Gross. Because of this, I don’t feel bad unfriending anyone who does this the moment it happens. To them, I’m just a number, so it doesn’t make sense to maintain that connection.
Discussion question: Have you ever pruned your social media friends, and why?