One minute you sit down to check some status updates and the next you look up to see an hour has gone by. If you feel sucked-in by your social networks, you can take action to get your day back on track. It’s called pruning, and it’s as easy as a click of the mouse.
What is pruning?
Just as vines can easily grow out of control if not tended to, your Facebook profile can expand to crazy proportions if you don’t cut it back every now and then. Pruning is essentially editing your Facebook account so that you don’t waste your time with acquaintances on the fringe of your life or, worse yet, total strangers who end up on your friends list.
According to a recently released study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 63% of social network users deleted someone off of their friend list in 2011, compared to 56% in 2009. Clearly, unfriending is on the rise. The Pew study attributes the trend to privacy concerns, but pruning also helps users streamline the online experience.
"I like to keep my online social circle pretty small, so if I haven’t talked to someone in person – or they aren’t part of my family – I usually unfriend them," says Andrea, a mom of three from California.
The unfriend button
To some, the unfriend button is a bit intimidating, but you have the right to use it. After all, are you really interested in updates from that person you met at a neighbor’s playdate three years ago but haven’t seen since? As a mom, your time is precious. If you’re lucky enough to grab ten minutes to catch up on your social networks, you want to be efficient. That means doing some serious editing.
Every month or so, scan your friend list while considering the meaning of the word "friend." If you’d rather clean the bathroom than grab a cup of coffee with a particular person, hit "unfriend" quickly. Don’t be afraid. You can do it! A lighter friend list will reduce the time you spend online and get you back to your day faster.