Dear GalTime , I am annoyed at the number of people following me on Facebook who I really don't know. I thought I wanted to expand to a broader network, but I don't. Is it rude to unfriend? Is there a downside to letting people go? I don't want to offend anyone.
ANSWER: When my book, Facebook Fairytales, first published, I experienced the same thing. I was accepting every friend request I got (and there were many because of the publicity the book was receiving). All of the sudden, I had a thousand-plus friends, most of whom I didn’t know. I felt torn. On the one hand, I thought the more people I’m friends with, the more exposure my book and future professional projects will get. But at the same time, I didn’t want strangers following my personal status updates and viewing photos of my family, namely my children.
So I settled on a combination of two approaches. First, I “unfriended” all of the people who were complete strangers (as in, we didn’t have one friend in common). You can’t worry about offending people you don’t even know or who don’t know you.
Next, I broke my friends down into two lists on Facebook--”friends and family” and “other.” I left my profile completely open to “friends and family.” For the “other” list, I blocked all personal photos and, whenever I post a very personal status update, I block the “other” list.
The way to do this is by clicking on the down-pointing arrow next to the lock below the status update box. If you click on “customize” it’ll let you hide your post from specific people—anywhere from one person to a whole list. It’s important to learn about your privacy settings on Facebook. You’ll find there’s a lot you can control!