Facebook Get A Life

Purging Facebook ‘Friends’ Increases Productivity

Dollar Flipper Musings 14 Comments

Facebook. It’s a blessing and a curse. Regardless of how much you love/hate the system, I’m pretty sure we’ve all fallen down the rabbit hole a few times and gotten caught up perusing someone else’s life events on their wall. Instead of getting off Facebook or unfriending everyone, I’ve found a tried and true method to cultivate my friends list instead of just swearing off of the system altogether.

We all know that Facebook has that feature that lets you hide someone’s feed. For me, this isn’t enough. Using this setting still stores the connection to that idiot from high school, plus there’s always the chance that Facebook changes a feature, and you end up seeing their crap again. I know a better solution.

You may be asking, “what the hell does this have to do with eBay re-selling?”

When you find yourself futzing around on Facebook when you could have been listing, researching an item, or photographing, then you’ll think of me and say “Crap!”

Facebook is the ultimate time-waster. I may go on bit of a rant here, but bear with me, please. I really do have a working solution to get rid of the bottom dwellers. and it’s helped me get a bit more control.

For eBay re-sellers, there are were some really awesome groups to talk about thrifting. Thrifting With the Boys was always my favorite, but since Jason and Brian have had their falling out, I find that it’s gone downhill. Jason started the Thrifting Board, and again, I’m just not into it. Seeing things that sell well is nice, but I like the story behind something. How they found it, why they picked it up, what types sell better than others, etc. These sites just go in line with our “give it to me now and I’ll forget it tomorrow” culture.

On top of this, the biggest problem with these groups is that they’re on Facebook! I can’t get away from all of my friends who post pictures of their cats.

Facebook Get A Life

57% of the people who like your photos are actually jealous.

If you’re like me, though, you don’t want to have to go through each individual profile and unfriend the person. This sounds like a huge chore.

“Facebook already makes me feel lonely, now you want me to remove people? That would make me feel even lonelier!” Not true. We’re talking about addition by subtraction.

Here at Flipping A Dollar, we’re into the slow growth/change.

  • I’m a huge fan of index funds purchased through Vanguard for my retirement accounts. I don’t pick individual stocks.
  • I love using Beeminder so I can slowly list new items and fit eBay into my family-oriented lifestyle.
  • We have a no electronics night (every Thursday, feel free to join us!).
  • We’re slowly saving up for major upgrades around our house using eBay money instead of going into debt. This means that we have a long list of improvements to work on, but we’ll knock them out one at a time.

So if I’m not talking about going through your list person by person, what’s a nice, basically random way where you can evaluate whether or not someone is adding value to your Facebook friend portfolio 1 or 2 times per day?

Unfriend Facebook “Friends” on their Birthday!

Hear me out, please!

You’re probably thinking “That’s so mean!” It’s not, though! On someone’s birthday day, they’re going to feel super popular. This is the day that all of their “friends” come out of the woodwork to let them know how they really and truly appreciate their friendship

“hbd” – That “friend” who really cares about you.

Maybe it’s just me, but a text or a phone call is a lot more personal than a post on my Facebook wall. When you’re posting there, you’re really doing it for yourself. Don’t lie about it. You want everyone else to see that you said Happy Birthday to this person.

The worst part is that you didn’t even have to do anything to remember. Facebook literally e-mails you or pings you to remind you that it’s someone’s birthday today.

By unfriending people on their birthday’s, you’re choosing a day where they’re getting showered with “hbd’s.” They’re not going to notice one person who didn’t say anything (or one less friend)!

It’s nearly random (the gamer in me loves these random pings). The app picks out a one or two people every day for you to think about. I turn the whole “friend” thing around. The real question is “Do I want this person to know how my family is doing?”

Most of the time, people fall into the following buckets:

  • Absolutely! Keep as friend and send a Happy Birthday message/text.
  • I don’t care if they see pictures of my kids. Keep as friend and probably don’t send an HBD message.
  • I can’t stand this person, and I don’t want to know about their life and I definitely don’t want them to know about mine. Remove this person ASAP.
  • Who the hell is that? Remove this person.*

*Sometimes someone is SUCH a trainwreck that you can keep them on your list. This has to be only 1 or 2 people, because you know that these types of people post on their walls ALL OF THE TIME.

*Also possible caveat is a model. No judgement here.

There are a few “untouchables” though (unfriendables?). Family is the big one. We all love our families, even when they’re being morons. The hurt feelings aren’t worth it.

For our household, the value of Facebook is sharing our family (photos, events, stories) with people that we don’t get to see much. Cousins, old friends, and family that’s just too far away to see all the time. It lets us stay in touch.

Ignoring the fact that Facebook may be listening in on your personal conversations so you can have more “relevant” status updates or advertising (really),  sometimes it’s nice to not have all of these extra push notifications from non-friends.

At first, we all thought this technology was great. “Oh, the app will tell me when someone mentions me!” but that has now turned into, “the app tells me that I’ve missed a bunch of other peoples’ posts”. No shit. Other people are posting on Facebook? Who’da thunk it?

By removing these pseudo-friends, I’m able to go on Facebook and not be enraged.

Less Facebook = HUGE Productivity Boost

I’ve been complaining mentioning that the new addition to the family has seriously cramped my morning routine. The baby has forced me to re-prioritize nearly everything. Now time with my wife is more precious, time with the older daughter is precious, and sleep is so damn precious. Where does eBay fall into that? I have a few time slots that are generally free and available. This is early in the morning (I wake up at 5 AM) and late at night after the kids go to bed.

Having any sales packed up at night takes the stress off of the mornings, but the other thing is that I use that free time to write or to work on eBay. By lessening possible distractions like Facebook, I’ve been able to stick with my Facebook goal.

Unfriending people throughout the year on their birthdays lets you decide who you’d like to take a second for and let them know that you care about them. Your time is important, and you should be spending it how you want, not wishing a HBD to some bum from your hometown!

And don’t be surprised if you feel a little nervous the first time the mouse hovers over that “unfriend” button. In the end, you’ll feel liberated!

After completing my #NoNoiseNovember Challenge last month, I’ve realized a few things.

  1. I’m a lot more cognizant of what I’m listening to. I find myself really thinking about the things going into my ear.
  2. I’m choosing what I put in front of me. In the past, we were forced to watch whatever was on TV or listen to the current songs on the radio. Well, I think we’ve all realized that we now have a choice. I don’t have to watch the terrible news if I don’t want to. I can stop watching ESPN non-stop if I’m only interested in the NFL. I don’t need to watch the celebrity gossip channels.
  3. With all of these options, I’ve realized that it’s good to clear out your “cache” every once in a while (and your Facebook friends list). You know how you’re supposed to defragment your hard drive at some point? This used to be a lot more important before computers became nearly disposable, but we used to go through and clear out old, unused files and have your computer re-organize everything.This is the biggest benefit I got from the challenge. I cleared out all of my podcast and have slowly added them back in. So far, only Scavenger Life (real-life eBay professionals) and eCommerce Momentum (I’m fascinated by Amazon but haven’t made the jump into FBA yet).


Image Credit: Nate Bolt

Comments 14

  1. So funny you wrote about this. I have started recently to unfriend people. There are so many people on there that I don’t know, friends of friends, etc. I also felt that I would get sucked into reading what was going on in everyone’s life. I’m on there very infrequently..a couple of times per week if that. I have to say that the first time I started unfriending people I was afraid they would find out and that there feelings would be hurt. But I’m over that. I really like your idea of doing it on their birthdays. For me it would be an easy way of analyzing if I want to remain in contact with them without having to go through my entire list. I’m heading over there now and starting with today’s birthday! 🙂

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      Be ruthless! I also think about if I’d even like one of their posts. Especially the big ones. “We had a kid!” If I don’t care enough to like that post, they shouldn’t be on my friend list!

  2. I’ve actually started unfriending people as well. There are some things that I just don’t need to see from people.

  3. Wow, you must have a lot of friends. I only have 54. What I don’t understand is why I see what everybody “liked.” A friend “likes” a photo of their other friend’s baby and I have to see it. Why? I block my friend’s friends and any other shared websites that I don’t want to see (political, religious, etc), that has helped me a lot!

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      Oh the crazy politics. My Facebook wall is for funny pictures and pictures of your kids! I don’t want to see your political views!

      Facebook came around when I was a freshman. It started in 2004 and I joined in the fall of that year when it was still only colleges. We would friend everyone we met out and about when we got back home (no Facebook apps!). I had a lot to purge. 🙂

  4. I don’t have Facebook, i got rid of it after it opened up to non college students. I have been considering creating an account however, because it is a good networking tool. I noticed yahoo news was eating up my time with their misleading titles and faux ‘news’drama I just couldn’t help but click the bait. I decided to use my better judgement and block yahoo.com. I often forget it’s blocked and try to visit the site, only to be rejected. I have since saved countless hours.

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      That’s awesome. It was fun back in the day when it started, but over time I just don’t enjoy it. I’ve nearly removed all news from my life. It’s depressing and I really don’t care about the new stupid internet video or the Kardashians. I’d rather focus on my life and family and what’s in my control! Yahoo is a tough one since they cater to such a huge variety (and volume) of people.

  5. This is good advice and an efficient way of continuously maintaining your list of friends. Another way of not getting sucked into websites is the browser extension LeechBlock, which will let you set websites to block and during what times of the day. I’ve found it really helpful, especially when I’m sucked into doing really boring work where the temptation to get off track is huge.

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      I’m definitely in that zone now. ESPECIALLY with the holidays coming up and me taking off a few weeks for vacation. I’ve done rescue time, but I’ve recently been experimenting with Kanban Flow. It’s not a back-end tool that stops you from accessing bad websites, but it’s helping me plan out my work day a bit more. I definitely go through ebbs and flows of productivity at work!

  6. Pingback: Why my Inventory Spreadsheet is a Lifesaver - eBay Process - Flipping A Dollar

  7. Just changed my friend list from 155 to 51. Thanks for the idea.

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      WOW! That’s awesome. If you feel a little “lonely” to start off, don’t worry. It’ll taper off and will become the new, peaceful, non-stupid normal. 🙂

  8. Funny I use my Facebook as my “whats going on in the world” news feed, and a way for me to propagate that news, most of which is political in nature, out to my 4000+ like-minded FB friends. This has all been in anticipation of using FB as a marketing medium in the future. Instead of unfriending them on their birthday, why not link a 10% off my ebay store coupon? 🙂

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      LOL that’s a neat idea. I’ve only posted about my blogging on my personal Facebook account once (when I got interviewed by Woman’s World). Otherwise, I try to keep it separate. Giving a coupon seems a little too much like one of those “sell from home” schemes!

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