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May 11, 2011


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I prefer to do the same thing. I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings but I consider there is no sense to have Facebook or Twitter fellows that you never speak there. That's why I cut down the list of my Facebook friends!!!

I've definitely done the same thing. I feel guilty like I'm going to hurt someone's feelings, but I think to myself are they really going to notice if one person stops following them? Probably not, but I'm going to notice that I actual have tweets I care to read!

Deb has an arbitrary cap on peeps she follows, too (also around 300), and I should probably cut about half of my "followed" category for the same reason.

Whew. I made the cut. Heh.

In all seriousness though, I just may follow your lead on this one and do the same thing. It all get so overwhelming sometimes, this social media stuff.

Atta girl! I've always kept my Twitter follows under control, but my Facebook is ridiculous. Now I know what I'm doing this week!

so, so true. It does sort of become noise after awhile doesn't it?? I've had to do this many times. The scaling back and thinning out. It information overload. It overwhelms me, wastes my time, or makes me feel like there are a million things I'm not doing that I should be doing--like making an advent calendar from toilet paper rolls or scrapbooking all my kids' artwork.

I had a rude awakening a couple weeks ago at work with social media and media, in general. I work for the local media and unfortunately my personal life and 'local' media got mixed together in an awful outcome.

I always go through my FB friends and delete those that have no interest in my life, only to look at my pictures and not comment about my cute kids. (Totally kidding about the last part.)

I think that now Facebook and Twitter have gone past their initial "got to be on it, it's the thing to do" hype that more and more people are determining how social media intersects with their lives to add value rather than distract from life. Facebook I reserve for those people I know, Twitter for those I want to be influenced by (which by default is a pretty short list).

I'll give a shout out of THANKS to you and the circle of bloggers you hang with because you are doing a great job of setting the tone for the way social media can be a value to so many of us that are juggling work, kids and life in general.

i choose the people i add on my facebook too. twitter, on the other hand, is for everyone. so i think that defeats my purpose. lol!
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I completely understand. I am not offended if anyone unfollows me. Heck, I'm always sort of surprised that anyone I don't know follows me in the first place! I can see how it would get overwhelming quickly, especially when it is your job and there is no real escape.

I'm having some trouble with Facebook now because I friend anyone back who doesn't seem creepy, assuming they're readers, but all of my real-life friends are on Facebook, too. Consequently, they mention my kids' names from time to time, and since I don't name the kids on the blog, I have to delete their comments. Then I worry that my friends will see that I've deleted their comments and get offended... and... WHAT WOULD EMILY POST DO?!!!

I changed up a lot of stuff recently. I deleted the Backpacking Dad Facebook profile, and turned it into a Page. I don't have to accept friend requests; I don't have to see anything in my Facebook timeline that wastes my time. I try to share different things there than on Twitter or the blog. I have a separate Facebook profile that is just for family and old school friends, the same group I first added when I joined Facebook in 2004. No one from blog land is attached to that account.

Twitter...I went the opposite direction. I used a couple of different services to do a ton of follow-backs. The point when I first joined Twitter was to do some immediate connecting, and part of that was the DM ability. I'm okay with thousands of people being able to send me a DM, especially if I'm going to use them to reply to tweets the way that I used to.

However...I have a bunch of Tweetdeck columns/Twitter Lists, and the column I track the most, right next to my replies, only has 147 people in it. Next to that is the "All Friends", which kind of blazes by, but I like having some access to something outside my insular world there. Then I have other columns for local people or celebrities, but they aren't on the main screen. If I decide I'm interested I scroll over to them. So my Twitter information flow is "Slowest: replies to me; slow: 147 people I care about keeping close track of; Super-fast: everybody; Medium speed: off-page specialized lists."

I can quit anytime I want to. I learned it by watching you. Etc...

I DEFINITELY need to do a sweeping cull of FB. Twitter's a hard one, as I have to follow people for work/freelance reasons and then there is the whole Canadian contingent (I have TWO countries to deal with).

I might have to be tougher with culling there, too. I am so busy that whenever I find the time to open it, there's mostly a bunch of tweets from people I don't know well. I miss most of what my true friends are throwing out there.


First, download the book to your ipad, better reading experience.

Second, I recently joined FB after years of saying I never would and now, I'm not really sure why I ever did. It has just become ONE MORE THING to keep up with. And, I don't even like it that much.

Ali -- I know a few people who separate their lists. And I thought about doing that too and then was like, why am I following them if I'm not really caring what they say.

I figure if it's worthwhile, I'll find out about it through the smart people I do follow.

I don't do Facebook but I've been unfollowing people on Twitter who send out too many nasty or negative tweets. I use social media to be informed and relax, not to listen to people complain about their pet peeves or just be mean (especially about other mothers).

I recently canceled my facebook acct altogether. Even though I was mainly using it for business, I just couldn't stand it anymore. Maybe I'll sign back on in a few weeks, but IF I do, it'll be with a lot less friends. I still tweet, but I do go through my followers regularly and weed them out.

I was just talking to a coworker about how I need to do this. Because I primarily use tweetdeck and I have lists called "people I really care about" and such, I usually just ignore about 75% of the people I follow. But, really, I should just clean it out. I should keep following the people I want to, the people I like, the people with whom I engage, and people I follow for work reasons etc. and just stop following the rest of the people...and try not to feel guilty about it.

My husband actually said to me last night as he was coming to bed (and I was on Twitter - not blogging) "you blog too much" and I just rolled my eyes at him... in truth, I might be on TWITTER or FACEBOOK too much, but I'm lucky to post one blog a week... but I get his point. I'm online too darn much. and I should probably try to do some trimming myself (although a LOT of the people I follow on Twitter don't follow me back - heck - half of the previous commenters and yourself included - which is cool, I don't expect y'all to follow me :) but I do like reading YOUR tweets, so... I'll most likely keep following) ;) FB though - I've got like 800 friends... which is a bit over the ridiculous mark. I need to cut that in half... or more. It's just hard, and hard work too!! One of these days I'll get around to doing it... sometime. :)

Great post!!

I've been pruning a bit as well, but not on Twitter. For some reason, i can tune Twitter out in a way that I cannot with Facebook and blogs. I've also started building in some technology free weekends, days, etc. in the summer months. I'm looking forward to that as well! Hard to do when your job is primarily online!

This is a popular topic today, this is the third post I've read about creating boundaries for oneself with social media and blogging.

I think you have to put limits on yourself or you get lost in all the mess. Good for you to try to make it as personal as possible.

I'm currently working on balancing time blogging, reading and commenting and my "real" life. It's tough.

Okay I have to say, I love what Tanis said. If I wouldn't tell you my kids real names, you shouldn't be on my FB list. Hmmmm, maybe that's the way I get rid of more people. I keep people on there because I feel obligated. I shouldn't feel like that.

I think it's a good plan. I've done it a few times. Trimmed my follwers/friends to people I actually want to know about. Oh and I unfollow most people who do those dam twitter parties.

At times I'm on way too often. (mostly if I'm having a hard time and my kids are gone.) However, I've stopped going on most evenings. It just gets to be too much. I keep my Twitter list under 400 and my FB is at about 120.

So smart. As someone who tries really hard not to "offend" people, this is hard for me to think about doing, but I must. I "follow" so many ppl I don't know on Twitter and even on Facebook. I too need to just cut waaaaay back. Though, I'm keeping the Bronx Zoo Cobra. He cracks me up.

I took a year-long break from Twitter and recently started back in. I shouldn't have. It adds absolutely no value to my life. At least on facebook, I talk with friends, plan playdates, find out about free food (Haagen Dazs free cone day yesterday!), and keep up with family who I'm too busy to actually call.

I also rarely read blogs anymore. I don't use any feed reader (is that what they're called?), so the only time I read one is if someone posts a link on facebook or Twitter that sounds interesting.

I received a Kindle for Mother's Day and am already on my second book! Granted, they are short, easy-to-read YA books, but it's more than I've read in a while. I also have a stack of magazines that has been building up for about 6 months that I seriously need to go through.

Cutting out noise is great! It allows us to concentrate on the more important things in life, like our kids and ourselves(!).

Totally get it. I'm probably on my way to doing the same. Hoping others "get it" too. Three books I just read (god does it feel so good to be reading books again!) : I'm Down by Mishna Wolff, Bossypants by Tina Fey, & When Did I Get Like This by Amy Wilson.

I have been slowly working my way through the classics that I never read in school, and it's been wonderful. Reading was such a big part of my life, usurped by blogs and social media, and I'm reclaiming it now.

There's also only so much "keeping up" that we can reasonably do. I don't expect anyone to be intimately familiar with my minutiae; I don't feel guilty when I'm not up-to-date with theirs.

I have a firm facebook rule that if I won't tell you my kids names you can't be my Facebook friend on my personal page. It has worked beautifully. Less noise. That said I need to cull my twitter but I'm finding it much harder to know where to draw the line. So far using filters and lists have helped calm the noise but I still have work to do to find my sanity.

Good for you for taking control of your social media ship.

What a healthy thing you did. And before it became a "big" problem. I 'm def a light socializer and as one of your Gangs of 4 Moms, I'll add that ,hanging out with my kids has to be in my top three priorities all the time. Has to be.
Chit chatty noisy acquaintances fell by the wayside anytime I felt pressured for time. I want my online time to have some depth,also. That doesn't mean not light, silly is good.But worth it. I have more leisure now that I'm down to 2 full time in house people but I don't really spend that increasing online activity.

Thank you for reminding me that I need to do the same thing. Way too much political stuff in my personal life and vice versa. I think a once every few months cleaning is a good thing.

I was just thinking yesterday day that the "noise" is starting to negatively affect my life and real world relationships, which are what actually feeds my soul. I've been feeling sort of dried up lately, and I think it's due to living too much of my life virtually. The important people are begging for my attention. The deserve it.

Great post.

I've thankfully always been quite careful about who I friend on facebook, so there isn't too much excess "fat" over there. On twitter, I recently did a significant "unfollow". I used "friend or follow" to identify people I was following, but who were not following me. If I didn't immediately recognize them as someone whose tweets I value immensely, I unfollowed. I also used TwitCleaner to identify accounts that only post links, that have no original content (i.e. only RTs), that never interact with anyone, and so on. That gave me more food for thought on people I may want to unfollow. It is hard sometimes to identify, based on a single tweet in a sea of tweets, whether someone's tweets are still valuable. But with TwitCleaner, I at least get a list of people to check out and think about unfollowing.

That said, there is still a lot of noise and I have some techniques for managing it (e.g. blocking certain keywords and hashtags), but would still like to cut back a bit in other places.

Yay for books! You will feel like a new human being when you absorb something in chapter form. :-) (If you'd like some recs., Katherine Center guest posted 5 great picks over at BM -- already read one and loved!)

And I hear you re: limiting connections. I follow similar suit on Twitter and via FB I only accept friend requests from people I actually know. This means I have a huge pile of pending requests from people who may think I'm a snob but to me FB is a personal space, not for networking (though I understand why people would want to use it that way).

It is so hard to do, but good for you. I try to un-plug a little each day for my family and it really does make the social media part of work/life a little better when it isn't on all the time.

You're my hero.

I've been trimming Facebook too. It's a horrible thing to unfriend people on their birthdays, but I figure, if I don't recognize your name in my sidebar, we probably weren't really friends to begin with.

Worst mom? No way, Tracy. I think we all do it. Escapism at its finest, at least for me.

And Jill, great point.

Interesting how the "rules" are changing. Used to be that it was common courtesy to follow a follow with a follow. (You follow?) :-) Now I'm seeing more and more people cutting back on their social media networks and I think it's a great thing. Overload is overload, no matter what form, and I for one am not offended if people I follow don't follow me. I know if I say something people want to hear, they'll start listening and engaging with me, but it will have meaning.

My husband and I often find ourselves sitting on the couch next to each other, not speaking, just typing away on separate laptops. It's pathetic. I find myself obsessively checking my iphone instead of playing with my kid at the playground. Worst mom ever.

I will say, though: it feels GREAT to cull your fb herd. If i've never spoken to you EVER, not even in elementary school...i don't give a sh*t about how much you "love Fridays!". It's easy to get out of hand with the friend requests.

What tools did you use to cull the herd?

I just followed your lead on the Twitter side and wow that felt good! I got bored so I'll have to go back and trim a little more, but I did a pretty good job so far! Thanks for the inspiration.

Deb has an arbitrary cap on peeps she follows, too (also around 300), and I should probably cut about half of my "followed" category for the same reason.

And I can totally identify with the "I miss reading" sentiment. Especially when I have a stack of books written by friends next to my bed that I won't make time to actually read. Maybe in July when we go on vacation...

Good for you! It can get just too overwhelming. Sanity and a little time to yourself is much more valuable than popularity.

Good for you. It's interesting, the reasons we stay connected to people. I just cut a bunch of "friends" out of FB because they never say anything. It's voyeuristic, I think, to always read what is going on with me and not share.

I also just trimmed my blogreader list. No time for drivel.

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