I have come up with a terrific idea for a new Facebook feature — friendship auto elimination. We all have Facebook friends that we never interact with. I have a few on my list. These are people that I met at a party and have never seen again, or someone who is a friend of a friend and I ended up adding them as my friend too. Let’s face it, some of these people can be removed.
Let me explain how I envision this auto elimination concept should work. The friend that has gone the longest amount of time without interacting with you will automatically have their friendship revoked. This action will occur on a revolving basis. Users can choose between a weekly or monthly elimination schedule, depending on how aggressive they want to be about managing their friends. After it is enabled, you would get an email alert telling you that person X is going to be eliminated this week (or month), and would encourage you to send them a message or poke them to keep the friendship alive. If no action is taken, that person is automatically removed at the end of the period.
I think I’ve stumbled upon a brilliant idea, but in reality, Facebook would never implement such a feature. They want their users to stay as connected as possible. It wouldn’t be in their interest to remove friends on your behalf. But all too often I skim my friends list to find names and faces that haven’t interacted with me in ages. In my opinion, if six months pass and I don’t get a single “like” or comment from someone, they are ripe for deletion.
Of course, my auto elimination concept should be optional. I know a lot of people who let their friends list balloon to enormous proportions. I suppose that having large numbers of anonymous friends makes some people feel good about themselves. I’m not among them. I keep my Facebook friends tight and tidy. I usually try to maintain my family, along with actual close friends. People that have my phone number, for instance. I don’t need so-called “friends” that I haven’t seen in a decade and have no bearing on my life whatsoever. This is why I love the concept of auto elimination. Since this will probably never exist, I’ll keep deleting people the old-fashioned way.
Let me add that, despite what I just said, I don’t go around deleting people left and right. I’ve deleted friends in haste and later regretted it. The auto elimination tool can also serve to nudge you to reconnect with old friends, not just remove them.