I try to rethink on a daily basis, if not constantly, but like most people, I don’t do the Big Rethinking often enough, maybe mostly around milestone birthdays, new years, yom kippur, presidential turnovers, etc. Now I’m preparing to move and going through all my stuff, evaluating what to keep and what to discard, donate, sell, gift, regift, recycle, shred, burn, bury, etc.
In December I made a joke about unfollowing all my twitter friends and starting over with the new year. It was just a joke, but the idea of spring cleaning social networks has stuck with me. Most people joining social networks don’t know quite what they’re getting into at first and I’m sure that many end up with some ill-chosen, finger-quote, “friends” on their lists but feel uncomfortable ditching them.
Burger King’s mildly controversial and thoroughly amusing (at least to me) whopper sacrifice program seems to have upped the ante on my gag. Short form: they’ll give you a free whopper if you “sacrifice” (publicly unfriend) ten of your facebook buddies. (That values a facebook friend at about 37 cents) I don’t know if it’s actually good for BK, but I think it’s great for social media. Heck, any PR that doesn’t link Burger King to e coli is probably good for BK. It takes some of the hot air out of the social media thing, and gives people another way – and a lame excuse – to unburden themselves of unwanted finger-quote “friends.” I presume there’s nothing stopping you re-friending people after lunch.
Remember a few years ago there was some chatter about email bankruptcy? In short, email bankruptcy means that you’ve decided you’ll never be able to deal with the current contents of your inbox, so you delete it all and start again. That idea seems to have faded out, but I wonder if we aren’t on the verge of a rash of social networking bankruptcy: twitter bankruptcy, linkedin bankruptcy, and most likely, facebook bankruptcy. Fed up with superpoke requests? Maybe it’s a nice day to just ditch everybody and start again!
Well, that’s probably not for everyone, maybe not for anyone, but I do have to wonder if the clean slate would allow us to make new and interesting connections that might not even have occurred to us since we’re so busy with the connections we already have.