Edit Friends…


     Recently, I did something on my personal Facebook page that I have done numerous times before.  I deleted people from my friends’ list that I never interact with or that I felt had requested access to my page for all of the wrong reasons.  Just as has happened many times before, a few people seem to have been annoyed by it.  I have especially found this to be true with some of my colleagues at work. 

    Let me begin by saying that I don’t just add anyone to my personal page.  The purpose of creating that page was to stay connected to family members who live far away so that they may see current pictures of my sons and my family and also to communicate with close friends whom I don’t see regularly but am still interested in keeping in contact with.  Somewhere along the way, I completely deviated from this original plan.  I’m not entirely sure why this happened but I am going to speculate that a big part of it had to do with me receiving friend requests from co-workers and other people that I have known over the years that I did not want to offend by not accepting their request.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not normally this much of a pushover but, at the time, I could not possibly predict the amount of problems that making this decision would cause me in the long-run.  It got to the point that everyone who had a Facebook page at work requested me at some point or another.  What probably happened is that I accepted one person and through mutual friends, word got around that I had a page too.  At first, it wasn’t really a problem but then things started to go downhill really fast and really quickly.

    The first thing that I started noticing is that some of my co-workers started to post status updates which indirectly attacked or insulted other co-workers.  Although they tried to be subtle about it, it was quite obvious who they were referring to and created an extremely awkward situation.  Next, I realized that gossip from work was starting to spill into the pages of these colleagues which made me even more uncomfortable.  It got to the point that I felt like I had to watch everything that I was saying on my profile lest it be misconstrued or misinterpreted.  I couldn’t believe that something as mundane and ridiculous as a Facebook page had become the source of such stress and anxiety for me.

    Another pattern that I started noticing is that some of the people that I added to my page never interacted with me whatsoever.  It made me feel like they only added me so they could stay abreast of all of my comings and goings but were not really interested in having any kind of communication with me.  Not that I’m Paris Hilton or anything but it really started to feel like they were just adding me so they could be in my business.  That didn’t really bother me that much but it did make me reflect on the why I was continuing to grant access to these people to my private photos and personal affairs.  It became quite apparent, as time went on, that they were just monitoring my life and were not really friends or acquaintances at all.

    The icing on the cake for me was when I had a private barbecue at my house and only invited two of my closest friends who also happen to be my co-workers.  After the event, I posted photos of the barbecue on my Facebook page so that the family and friends who attended could enjoy seeing them.  One day at work, I went outside to move my car when two colleagues proceeded to question me about why I had not invited them and other people from work to the barbecue that I had over the weekend.  You see, one of them had befriended me on Facebook and had seen the photos that I had posted of the event.  This really annoyed me because I proceeded to tell him that inviting people to my home is something that is reserved for close friends and family.

    At this point, I had had enough so I deleted most of my co-workers from my friends’ list.  I had no idea that so many people would get so upset over this and there are people whom I work with that still do no speak to me because I deleted them. Some actually confronted me to tell me that it upset them that I had deleted them from my page.  Others, understood why I did what I did and respected the fact that I was trying to regain my privacy and peace of mind.  I have to be honest, I found the whole fiasco quite comical and it really brought to light how shallow and petty some people can truly be.

    Fast forward to this past New Year’s Ever, I decided that there were some more cuts that needed to be made to my page.  I figured why not start the New Year right and get rid of any excess baggage that was weighing me down.  Snip, snip, I proceeded to trim the fat once again from my profile.  It actually felt really good because I got rid of the “Last of the Mohicans” so to speak and really trimmed my list of friends down to only close friends and family.  No more worrying that I was going to offend someone with my status update.  No more worrying that my personal life was going to become the subject of the Teacher’s Lounge gossip mill.  Most importantly, no more drama.  Even though I sensed some attitude being sent in my direction from the last few colleagues that I deleted, I couldn’t care less.  It really was a cathartic experience.

    I have learned many lessons from this experience that will dictate how I conduct myself on social networking sites.  First and foremost, I have learned to never mix business with pleasure and to keep separate accounts for my personal life and business endeavors.  Secondly, I have become very selective about which friend or contact requests I approve.  Lastly, I have learned not to take anything on these networks too seriously.  Once things get weird, there is always the DELETE button… 

© 2011, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. It is soo funny to read this post, which btw is so very true! There is this girl I used to go to high school with, we were never close friends, but we did play on the softball team together for a brief period. Oh, and she wanted to “get with” my boyfriend, now husband at the time. Anywho, she is a stuck up one, posting things that put people with less money down, or talking about how she hates fat people..yada yada yada, I got tired of it and I deleted her. She keeps adding me back. It is so frustrating. I would like to delete my older sister off my facebook as well…but it would cause a ton of drama.


    It’s good you were able to get some of the drama out of your life!

    • You really have me laughing here because you are so right, there are even some family members that have gotten deleted that just don’t get the hint and keep sending friend requests. I feel great that I was able to cut these toxic and negative influences from my line of vision. 🙂

  2. Wow! that’s amazing- I’ve never heard of people getting so weird about it! But I guess if it’s a small world- work can be smaller, huh? Good for you doing what you wanted:)

    • Shannon, you have no idea! It was shocking to see how many people were offended by this. Honestly, I couldn’t care less but it gave me even more insight into what kind of people these are. Actually, it made me feel even better about having made the decision to remove them from my page.

  3. I agree with everything you’re saying here. I really don’t have a personal fb page any longer primarily for all the reasons you named above. I use the page I have to promote my fan page and my blog. So I limit the amount of info I post about my personal life. I’ve never deleted anyone, even when family drives me nuts cuz not worth the headache. However, I have discovered the hide updates feature in Facebook where I just block out the updates I don’t want to see. The person never even knows, lol! And now that I’ve changed how I handle my page, I can really care less what people are seeing. Besides I only log on to see information worth reading, like your posts.

    • Eleana, I have limited to interaction that I have on FB and the updates that I post. It is absolutely ridiculous how much information some people divulge there. I have become so fed up that the only thing that keeps me from deleting the page altogether is the fact that it would hurt my family overseas to not be able to see photos of the boys regularly. Otherwise, I could take it or leave it at this point. I love that you sign on to read my posts, it means so much to me. Thank you for being a great friend and a loyal reader.

  4. Oh, I know what you mean! Mine is starting to get a bit crazy now with new friends.

    Nothing wrong with “delete”…..

    • Sherri, I really feel that I will use the delete button whenever I need to. After all of this nonsense, I will not feel badly at all about doing what needs to be done. Hopefully, I won’t have to make any more cuts now that I am being more selective about who I approve in the first place.

  5. It is true Maria, your personal page and even your public pages are portals to your life events. I have denied requests from many people that I don’t want or need in my personal life. I don’t care to have a discussion about my kids or my affairs with people who can’t even pronounce my name. I’ll run through my list and clean house of “friends” that I don’t have interaction with for months. Thanks for the reminder and purge on!!

  6. I’d done this just last week myself, for what was seemingly the millionth time. I say this…MY page, MY rules. That includes deleting who I feel needs to go, for WHATEVER reason I have.

    Don’t feel guilty and don’t let others guilt you for doing what YOU felt was best for YOUR page.

  7. LOL. I call it culling the herd!
    I have 2 categories – 1 is where I just have them turned “off” so I don’t see all their status feeds, which are usually annoying and I don’t care – and then if it surpasses that category, I delete them. xox

    • Steph, I tried turning off their status updates but, somehow, knowing that they were still there on my friends’ list was still affecting my stress levels. It was better for me to just sever the ties completely.

  8. Periodically, I go through my FB account and clean house. The first time I did it I found that I had so many people on there that I didn’t even really know. I accepted their requests because I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I’m so over that now. I didn’t even accept my niece’s request the other day. I don’t want to see what kinds of high school shenanigans she’s up to.

    • That’s exactly the reason why I initially accepted a lot of these people, to be nice and not hurt anyone’s feelings. I found out quickly that this was a poor decision. Now that I think about it, though, they probably would have been just as annoyed if I never accepted their request in the first place since they eventually got so upset when I deleted them.

  9. I have had that happen when a co-worker whom I did not invite to a party confronted me about why I didn’t. Never mind the fact that she NEVER spoke to me. So why did I feel guilty when it is extremely rude to ask why was someone not invited. So how do people know you un-friended them? Is there a notice sent b/c I have several people I would like to un-friend from H.S. when we weren’t friends there either!

  10. This makes me laugh! I must be the only person not on Facebook and for reasons like this. I recently told my sister, Facebook (and other social networking sites) are like peaking in someone’s windows. I always hear about people having drama about blocking someone from viewing certain things on their wall, deleting every each, and arguing over random updates etc. I can see the good in it too but glad I’m on Twitter only and no family are following me! 😉

    • Amanda, it is completely ridiculous how seriously some people take these social networking sites. I mean, you do get to meet great people and socialize but, it is not real life. Sometimes I wonder if it really is worth all of the aggravation. You are probably better off not even getting involved in the first place.

  11. So I’m reading this way late, but you really hit the nail on the head when you mentioned keeping personal & work life separate. No business colleagues are allowed access to my Facebook page for just that reason. I don’t even give out my work email to friends or family. I’m a very private person and the idea of personal info being seen by colleagues makes me uneasy. I’m glad you got your equilibrium back!


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