I  “unfriended” my second person today. They got under my skin. And I am thinking about my third “unfriend” with growing anticipation.  I see a pattern emerging that I think might be helpful for all you other folks trying to make sense of this social media stuff.

Before I go further let me clarify I am definitely over 50.  I believe we need to find a way to be active in social media.  But as a close friend recently shared with me all these folks that are so eager to teach us all about social media are a little like the volunteer fireman who is also an arsonist.  And the reason I have gone on this unfriending binge is a good example of social media run amok.

An Open Letter to My Recent Friend:

I recently unfriended you and in the interest of fairness I think you should know why.

When I first joined Facebook, LinkedIn and Plaxo it was because “Everybody” said I had to do it.  Unfortunately, no one explained the etiquette of the thing and so I have a number of “friends” whom I don’t know and don’t care about because I didn’t know you could ignore someone without offending them.  For the past year I have been smarter and if you are not affiliated with a funeral home, cemetery or related group or someone I care about I just hit ignore…no malice, no enjoyment…just an action that says “not interested.”

You should also know that I only really view my facebook activity on my not-so-smartphone.  On a daily basis I get more than 100 updates, mostly from people I don’t know. I actually like some of them and it’s nice to keep up with others.

Interestingly, I have discovered that there are some people…of which you are one…who have slipped through my defenses and subsequently revealed themselves to be using Facebook for commercial purposes.  This becomes evident when you begin bombarding me with your links, recommendations and other uninvited intrusions on my day.    I don’t really mind so much except for the ones…and you are a good example…who seem to take a page out of the “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and send something every 30 minutes.  On Monday of this week I counted 22 from you and Tuesday 24.  I noticed several today but I didn’t bother to count because that was when I said:  “Enough”.  I thought it was SOCIAL media not COMMERCIAL media.  You overstepped your bounds and spent too much time in my face.  It was unwelcome and intrusive, uninformative and inconsiderate. As they say in the movies: “I am just not that into you.”

I am sure this flies in the face of that volunteer fireman who told you this was the way to build your business while he was setting your house on fire. The result is that you are now on my list of people and companies I will never give the chance to tell me about their product.  You see, I am one of those silent majority people who simply votes with their checkbook.

I wish you the best…someplace else.


Alan Creedy

To my readers: next week a positive example of how to use social media.