It’s Not Personal

Recently, I made the decision to disconnect from a bunch of “Facebook friends.” I culled my list by about 20%. My criteria? Not totally scientific, but if I’d never met you in person or had any significant direct interaction (or it had been 20+ years since that last happened), you only contacted me when you needed me to do something for you, or you were primarily using FB for business/promotional reasons, you were pretty much guaranteed to get axed. I dumped virtually all the brands I was following at the same time, too, taking that list from 150+ down to under 25, most of which are in my neighborhood.

There’s been some blowback. To say the least.

But here’s the thing: it’s not personal. Really it’s not. That’s why, if you’re one of those who did get cut, I’m probably still following you on Twitter and/or connected to you on LinkedIn. I’m not trying to be a douchebag, and I’m definitely not trying to say I’m too “important” for anyone.

What I am saying is that I’m really, really busy. We all are. Cases in point:

  •  I haven’t seen my best friend from grad school in over 2 years, and he lives less than 100 miles from me.
  • I have two nieces and a nephew I adore, and I only see them about 2-3 times a year. I talk to their father, my only sibling, maybe twice a year outside those visits.
  • Up until recently, when I’ve been fortunate enough to see him 3 times in the last month, I had only seen one of my best friends in DC twice since his son was born. His son will be two in two weeks.
  • I haven’t seen a dear girlfriend and her new son in over 6 months. Other close friends? I saw them in the past week, but it had been 3+ months since the last time, in which time their little girl got her first tooth (two more on the way) and is standing with almost no help.
  • Another girlfriend and I recently had to set up a regular monthly “date” to make sure we didn’t fall off each others’ calendars, and she and I have been close for almost a decade.

Clearly, I have a hard time keeping up with those who are truly my nearest and dearest. Do I really care about the latest promotional blog post from someone I met once at a conference or what someone I haven’t seen or spoken to since 1989 did last weekend? Well., maybe, but remember: attention doesn’t scale (which may be my new motto).

What hard choices have you made recently to enable you to focus on what – and who – really matters?