De-Friending & Un-Following: Filtering Out the Noise

Remove 10 Friends and Get a Whopper? There's tons of content out there- we're hit up in every direction with status updates via Facebook, what people are doing via Twitter, where people are from britekite, what people are thinking about from their blogs.

A new trend is "de-friending" (removing people from your facebook friends list) and "un-following" (removing 'friends' from twitter.

It's a way to filter out the noise, a way to get back to reading what you really want to- but, of course, people defriend for different reasons - maybe you're trying to get over a breakup and would prefer not to see what your ex did over the weekend, or maybe you forgot who that person is that friended you, anyway.

Regardless of the reason, it's becoming a trend- especially as people who were originally skeptical of social networking sites are starting to join.

The New York Times describes a Burger King promotion, "Whopper Sacrifice," that gave a free Whopper to those who defriended 10 people- AND BK send each of these people an email (normally you don't get an email when someone defriends you) as it was a side app you had to "install" on your account. It's one of the most creative (and what a buzz it created!) marketing promotions I've seen in a long time.

Charlene Li, co-author of Groundswell (great book), wrote earlier this year that '09 would be

"Defriending becomes the hot new trend, driven by overwhelming rivers of newsfeeds. The movement is rooted in a desire to have quality, not quantity, as people cocoon in the face of the economic crisis. Facebook apps will emulate Twitter Grader, allowing you to prioritize your friends based on their overall social ranking -- and prune safely to ensure the highest quality friends."

Although you feel a little guilty about it sometimes, I don't think there's anything wrong with being picky on who you "listen" to.