I did something that some are perceiving as a rather drastic action yesterday and today: I unfriended on Facebook and unfollowed on Twitter everyone that I currently work with. I “lost” about 75 “friends” on Facebook and have about 100 fewer contributors to my twitter feed. No one did anything to upset me, I’m not changing jobs, nor do I plan to start dissing my employer on any of those networks (or anywhere else for that matter). The details of why I did it aren’t so interesting, but the reaction has been – both mine and my “former friends”.
Two things keep running through my mind since excommunicating a bunch of folks that I spend half my waking time with from my socialscape:
- On the “good” side this may be another nail in the coffin that finally convinces me to leave facebook altogether. I’ve been toying with the idea for a while, not because it’s the new cool thing to do or because I want to save the NSA some disk space, but rather I just find it too big a temptation drawing me away from being “present”. Its way too easy to get sucked in to reading through your feed instead of facing whatever it is you have in front of you – at least its way to easy for me.
- On the bad side it’s made me think a lot about who my workplace wants me to be (again the reasons I did it don’t matter really, but suffice it to say that it was motivated by a conversation at work. The message I seem to be getting is that they want a “Work Chris” that is completely walled off from the “Home Chris” and the same for all the other people that come in to work here. I’m no psychologist but that seems like that could lead to at least some basic disassociation disorders. We all wear masks I suppose, but to have to have such a hard line between your work and your home is hard – for me anyway. I suppose I watched to much Popeye as a kid – I am who I am.
In terms of the reactions from my “former” (online) friends, most haven’t noticed (or at least haven;t said anything), but a few took it hard. It surprised me how much our social network connection meant to them. I’m still their friend – we can still go to lunch, talk and have a connection with each other. I don’t know any other way to work with people. I do apologize for underestimating the importance of that connection – but honestly 24 hours in I still think it was he right decision. If any of you choose to still follow what I write here, you are welcome. If you lose interest or can’t be bothered to check a site or subscribe to RSS, I understand that too.
Getting harder and harder to just be yourself these days. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that here for a while longer.