I recently went through my Facebook friends and de-friended a number of people.” Something I like to call the “Friend Purge.” Now before you start thinking I’m a cold hearted you-know-what, let me explain myself.

On Twitter, many of us base who we follow on the content and value they provide to us. So why is it not the same on Facebook? What sort of value are we getting from our Facebook friends? I’m not necessarily talking blog posts and industry happenings, but rather what is happening in people’s lives. If we’re not getting any value from our Facebook friends, what is the incentive.

Think about it this way. When I first joined Facebook waaay back in 2006, the whole point of it (at least to the people I talked to) was how many friends you could get. After freshman orientation at Canisius, I got bombarded with friend requests of other incoming Canisius freshmen, my orientation teammates, and so on. In the hopes of making some new friends before the first day, and of course having a ton of “friends” in my Canisius network, I added all of them. Then I moved into Canisius, made a ton of new friends (in real life mind you), and didn’t even meet half of the people who requested me the summer before (not even in 4 years of college). What is the value in having friends like that?

Then you have the people from high school, grade school, etc. who request you simply because you went to school together. Never mind the fact that you never talked in high school or didn’t get along. We friend these people and then get bombarded with information from them on our news feeds, which keeps us from seeing posts and information from people we care about. On Twitter, we are always cautious of spam mushing up in our feed, because it prevents us from seeing the amazing content that people put out there. While the content shared on Facebook is of a different nature, why should it be any different?

What are your thoughts? Do value and Facebook belong in the same sentence? How do you determine who becomes a Facebook friend? What prompts you to “de-friend” someone? What is more important to you on Facebook – staying in touch with friends or having a large number of friends?

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