Some days I have no trouble picking a topic to write on. Others, although not many, are a struggle. Then there are days like today. I know what I want, but don’t exactly know the right way to go about it.
Here’s my issue and I’m sure it’s one many have wrestled with; when is it proper to “unfriend” people on Facebook? Please consider the fallout in support of Ryan as you consider it.
In my case, my personal Facebook account has roughly 750 “friends”. Clearly, I’m not that friendly. Over the past few years people requested me because of their interest in Ryan. I appreciate this. Still, with this website and Ryan’s Fan Page on Facebook, I’d like to get my identity back a bit. I feel I am right in wanting this, but I just don’t know how to approach it. The last thing I want to do is offend anyone who supports my son.
It’s not to say that I haven’t built friendships through this tragedy. I definitely have and would like to keep these alive. These people are easily identifiable through their efforts in re-posting content I write, sending me occasional messages, and my Ryan-related history with them.
So, here’s my plan and I’d like to hear your thoughts on it. By this time anyone I would consider a “friend” must be aware of the anti-parole petition. There’s really no way they could miss it, with all the attention it’s received. My thought is that I could use these 30,000-plus names as a basis for “unfriending” by simply cross-referencing the names. It makes me suspicious when my Facebook friends don’t fit into the petition signing universe. I know, for a fact, that people have friended me that are connected with the defendants. These are girlfriends, buddies, and family members. They are also on Ryan’s Fan Page, but I don’t have a problem with that since I view it— like this website — as open.
The way I see it, a friend would support me in this because it’s a big deal to me. Am I correct to assume if they don’t support this, then by default, I really shouldn’t count on them? In the end I want to make sure I am surrounded by the right people.
What I might do is download the petition signature list this weekend and see how many “friends” are affected. Before clicking the “unfriend” button, I might even send some a personal request to sign the petition.
I hope I’ve thought this through entirely, but want to hear your thoughts, experiences, and risks of doing it. Is there a better way?
Katie Rye says
a few months ago i defriended about 100 people. most of them were of people i knew of but didn’t really have a relationship with. awhile ago i created a prayers for ben page because alot of people who follow our blog wanted to be friends with me. me, like you, want some type of privacy and able to express ourselfs to those who care most…about some feelings you don’t want to world to know!
follow your heart! you know what is best for you!
John Maletta via Facebook says
Unfriend me and I’ll kick your butt! 😉
Bobbi Doherty says
The easiest way to not offend anyone that is your FB friend is to set up a second account for only close friends and family, Send them a message with the new account information with a friend request. Then delete them off your current account. Make sense? I have two accounts one for Ashburn friends and one from childhood, high school, college and family. It is the easiest way I have found to keep things more private for me. Really, does the PTA President want to see pictures of me in high school or college. I don’t think so nor do I want her to see them. Just a thought. BTW you will need to set up a new email account to do this.
Knowing you, Sue, Kari, Ryan, Duke and Tucker is as much a gift to us as any support we could provide you and Ryan. I think the petition idea is a good start, but agree with Paula that for some reason some people who care for him deeply may not be aware, though I believe that would be few. The paramaters you mentioned before, those who message you, etc are also important. I would probably definately keep the people that you know actively continue to keep Ryan relevant. He must remain relevant! In the end, you know what is best for you. Much love, Jen
Ha Ha!! Ken, That’s a good one! I get de-friended all the time and I don’t even know it… It takes me a while before I do find out! LOL!
Diane Masters via Facebook says
Why not just unfriend everyone at once and then rebuild your friends list with your new criteria in mind. Then either no one feels they’ve been singled out.
Will Nier says
I have always thought that the ‘ friend’ thing on Facebook is just a fad. I always laugh when I see some pages with people having 1 million friends, really. Of course I also thing using your real name on facebook is dangerous.
Rita Caporicci Hoop via Facebook says
Setting healthy boundaries for you and your family in any “relationship” is always appropriate, imho.
Gail Doyle says
Ken, You do whatever is easier for you.I feel I know you, Sue and Kari and of course Ryan through the posts and that’s all that matters.As long as I’m on “Ryan’s Rally” Facebook and get your blogs (750 friends IS a lot :)on your personal FB),..that’s great
Have a good day and start your “unfriending”
Good idea! I just unfriended some people on my Facebook. I have only family and less than 5 other friends.
I really do not want to know the day to day events of others as some post all day.
Good idea to close your account and start over with picking the friends you want. I ignore requests from anyone unless they are family, I request to be friends with who I want on my list.
Karla Conner Woods via Facebook says
You should just start a new personal facebook account for yourself. That way you can have those personal friends you want on there to begin with and you don’t have to unfriend anyone.
You have the right to have something personal for you and only you!!!!!!!
Mary Turner via Facebook says
Do what you feel.
Janice Taylor via Facebook says
Why should Ken have to pick and choose?? Maybe folks that have never personally met him and talked to him should do him a favor and unfriend him. Let the man be a person like everyone else.
I don’t blame you one bit. I only friend people I’ve met personally. Needless to say I’m not in your friend list. Lol. I liked the Facebook you made for Ryan and I bookmarked the web page you made for him that’s as far as I need to be in your personal life.
Now, you could make another Facebook page like people are suggesting or and I capitalize it hope everyone else will notice it,,
MAYBE FOLKS THAT HAVEN’T MET KEN PERSONALLY COULD UNFRIEND HIM SO HE DOESN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT MAKING ANYBODY MAD OR PICKING AND CHOOSING. SAVE HIM THE WORRY OF IF HE’S TAKING HELP AND SUPPORT AWAY FROM HIS SON JUST SO HE CAN HAVE SOME INDIVIDUALITY.
Hopefully that will help some. People shouldn’t make you have to pick and choose. They should be content with the Ryan support pages and let you be an individule.
Keri Dezell says
GREAT IDEA! Just in case they missed your post…
IF YOU DO NOT KNOW KEN PERSONALLY, COULD YOU PLEASE UNFRIEND HIM SO THAT HE DOESN’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT OFFENBDING ANYONE OR LOSING SUPPORT FOR RYAN AND/OR HIS FAMILY. SAVE KEN THE AGGRAVATION AND WORRY AND PLEASE ALLOW HIM HIS OWN INDIVIUALITY. PLEASE DEFRIEND HIM VIA FACEBOOK AND FOLLOW RYAN’S PROGRESS VIA THE FACEBOOK PAGE RYAN OR THE RYANS RALLY.ORG WEBSITE.
Perhaps as it has been said by others that it might be a good idea to open another FB for your closest friends, thats if its not too much of a pain in the arse managing them all! I’ll cool with whatever you decide! I’ll still follow Ryan on this website!
Carolyn Rhodes Johnson via Facebook says
I feel you should have CLOSE friends on your friends list. The others who are interested in what’s going on with Ryan (like me) can like this page and stay in the loop on what’s going on with him. You don’t know me and I don’t know you but I am genuinely interested in Ryan’s progress. I signed the anti-parole petition and shared it on my facebook page and urged my friends to sign it also. I don’t expect to be on your friends list because of that and would never send a friend request to someone I’ve never met and I’m not friends with in real life. Others on your friends list should understand when you start weeding out your list.
Hi Ken, I like the way you’ve thought this out. I think your approach as you’ve outlined it is fair and positive. Really, *everyone* who knows about Ryan and your family should sign the petition! Sending them a message is an excellent idea. In fairness some may not know about it for whatever reason. Since we want as many signatures as possible, by alerting those who haven’t signed yet, you can get them as well as any friends they may have.
Whatever you decide to do, I support you 100%. 750 “friends” is a lot. I think I have 145 and would be surprised if I ever topped 150 haha.
Sending you love today, and prayers … some days are harder than other days aren’t they….but always remember we’re still here and we’re keepin the faith. Hugs hugs hugs
Katie I. says
I like the idea of you creating another Facebook profile for yourself that you could limit to personal close friends. That way do don’t run the risk of offending anyone but you can still get more privacy. Or you could shut down your Facebook page and recreate it. You could use a non personal profile picture/ cartoon, etc for your new personal page. I would think any real friend of yours would not have a problem with this. Also, people are probably friending you because it’s similar to “liking” a fan page. You have a ton of fans!
Ramina Khaziran via Facebook says
You have to do what feels right to you. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. God Bless.
Lorraine Lundqvist via Facebook says
I honestly think you should have a very small friends list. Delete us all and start over.
Ken, you don’t have to explain your actions to anyone. You’re in charge of who/what/where/when you want to interact with people. I have to tell you that you made me chuckle. “Clearly, I’m not that friendly.” As always, your humor has made my day.
Jo Hobbs via Facebook says
You’re the boss! 😉
I have an idea. Sending it to you privately.
I think if the people aren’t your “friend” or you don’t know them, that is when they need to be on the Ryan’s Rally FB page or check the website. They can still show you support that way. But. if you have personal friends that have not signe the petition, I would send them a personal message asking for their help. Maybe they didn’t see it, or have personal reasons they don’t want theor name on a petition. That doesn’t mean they don’t support your family. Ask them first. But I also agrre, if you don’t want to offend anyone, maybe start another page just for close friends and not accept requests from people you don’t know. I would not expect you to accept one from me.
Ann Wittnebel via Facebook says
There is nothing wrong with “unfriending people”! I made a decision when I was battling cancer that I would not waste energy on those who did not bring anything positive into my life. Remember Dr. Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Peace and love!
OMG! When you download the list, you will likely see where I signed it about 10 times! I couldn’t get to the bottom where it says “sign,” so I kept flling out the form over and over, thinking I had not completed it. Of course, I know that only one is legal (I would sign it every day if possible, but I don’t think it is. Need to re-read rules of petitions).
As always, you’re the boss, and the buck stops with you. I trust you will do whatever you think is the best for all concerned, as usual. Yes, I, too, would send the petition along with your personal request for signatures. If not signed, I would “unfriend” these “friends!”
Always thinking of you. Love and prayers across the river.
Jo, it only allows you to sign it once (based on name and/or email). I know this because I tested it to make sure. Still, I will check to make sure you (and no one else) is counted more than once.
Julie Bragg says
I think it is perfectly normal to want to maintain a more private and personal facebook page. Maybe you could leave the account that you currently have and start a new one that is just for very close relationships. I agree that if they are FB “friends”, they should be signing that petition!!! I am the same way. If I don’t personally know you, I don’t want to be FB “friends.” I understand your situation is different now and it is always good to have public support. I am always impressed with your courage, strength and wisdom. You will know what is best for you and your fight.
Andrew Polzin via Facebook says
do what you think is necessary. I started unfriending people who kept posting uneducated polarizing political nonsense… then I realized that if I kept going, I wouldn’t have any friends left…