Goodbye, dear friends

I have spent the better part of the morning UNFOLLOWING people on Twitter and Facebook. Why? Because they serve no purpose in my life.  Social media is called “social” for a reason.  It’s about conversation and engagement; about you keeping  up-to-date on my life and you on yours because we no longer have the time or energy to call or write each other.  I accepted your friend request (or vice-versa) because I thought you wanted to connect.  If  you’re not willing to play along, then slowly step away from my social media.

Who are these people I cast aside?

1. It’s All About Me’s:  You know the type. Their kid got accepted early decision to Harvard, they were awarded top agent in the nation, they’re in the celebrity green room at the Super Bowl (and posting everything from a photo of the Packers-colored rice on their dinner plate to pictures with sports stars way past their prime).  Along the way, you’ve liked most of their posts, congratulated their kids, and even let them know how jealous you are that they got to pose next to 90’s superstars.  Yet they have NEVER commented on your posts or re-tweeted you.  It’s like being at a cocktail party with someone that talks and talks and never asks about you.  So I did what I’d do at a party.  Excused myself and walked away.

2. Lurkers: These are the followers that hide in the shadow, catching you at the market with a “That was a great photo of you at the Chamber meeting last week.  Oh, and hope your mom is feeling better after her surgery.”  What?  I actually friended this person?  Why doesn’t he make his online presence known?  Why doesn’t he ever comment about himself or his family? Why doesn’t he tell me he reads my posts and looks at my photos? Isn’t this supposed to be about engagement and two-way streets?  To me, these people are creepy; not self-sacrificing.   Truly altruistic people wouldn’t join Facebook.  Lurkers are the ones you really have to watch out for.  They’re watching your every move stealthy.  What are they afraid of?  Why don’t they interact?  All I know is I’m afraid of them, so buh-bye!

3. Door-to-Door Salesmen:I’ve been pitched everything from slippers to rap dance lessons online.  And the answer is still NO.  If I wanted high quality Botox/mattress pads/insect repellent or any of the myriad of over-priced clothes, shoes, jewelry and/or purses you hock incessantly, I promise, you would be the first one I’d call.  In the meantime, how about telling me what you’ve been up to since we last saw each other in eighth grade?   Posting a few pics of your family instead of your “exclusive” spring product line?  I actually care a lot more about where you’re gong on vacation than I do about the hostess points I could get for inviting my friends to your Tupperware party.  If you want to join the conversation, jump in.  But for now, I’m done hearing about your purses that match my eyes and also make dinner for five as well.  Ta-ta!

4. Eeyore’s: Your kid has a 103 fever for the third time this year, your mother had emergency surgery, your car broke down and you don’t have the money to fix it, and your husband lost his job.  Guess what?  Me, too.  I have no problem hearing about the bumps in your road once in awhile, nor do I have a problem posting mine. But honestly, did you miss the half-full glass over there?  I generally have a high tolerance for pain, but not for your daily woe-is-me epic.  Go find me three positive things to say about your day, and I might let you back in.

5. TMI’s: These used to come yearly in Christmas letters; now we get them daily, and some recent ones have been doozies.  How do I say this delicately?  I DO NOT CARE TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR HUSBAND’S COLONOSCOPY OR WHAT HE HAD TO DRINK BEFOREHAND.  NOR DO I CARE HOW LONG HIS SURGICAL SCAR IS OR WHAT IS COMING OUT OF IT.  Enough said.  Hasta la vista, baby.

I am the first to admit I’m not perfect.  I’ve posted a few items that I later deleted; I’ve embarrassed my kids; I even had a local store owner send me hate mail for a post I wrote about his poor business practices.  But one thing I know I am is a good social citizen.  I’m in this to learn as much about you as I can; to celebrate your joys and cry along with you if needed.  I friended or followed you for the same reason.  Maybe it’s me.  Maybe I expect too much out of this “social” media stuff.  But until I get back from you what I put into it, I’m done with you.  I hate to say this, but it’s likely for your own good.

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