Have you ever been in this situation? You’ve been friends with an old coworker, schoolmate, or acquaintance on Facebook for a few years now. You’ve seen their updates, their comments, pictures of their new home or baby. Maybe you’ve even interacted with them online on a regular basis. Then out of the blue, you visit their Facebook page, only to find out that you’ve been unfriended.

How could they do this to you?!

I’ve been unfriended on Facebook a few times. Each time, I thought to myself, “What did I ever do to her?” After a few seconds of hurt, I moved on. To another Facebook page. Then I completely forgot about it.

I read an interesting article, which included an “infographic” (short for information graphic, which is a large statistic report shown graphically), that discussed this very topic. Social strategists polled 1,800 social media users to find out why they friend and unfriend people on Facebook.

The poll found that the number one reason why Facebook users remove friends from their Facebook list is because a friend made an offensive comment. The second most popular reason was that they did not know the person that well.

Since I don’t consider myself offensive on Facebook, I’d like to group myself in as Reason #2 why I was unfriended those few times.

I find this infographic extremely helpful when trying to understand why people use social media. Whether I am using social media for personal or professional reasons, I always like to think about my audience. When I’m posting on my personal page, I like to think about how I can connect with friends through sharing personal stories, photos, and interesting links I find on the web. When I’m using social media professionally, I always consider my target audience and why a Facebook post should be important to them.

Check out the infographic for yourself!

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I used to follow a lot of people on Twitter.

I mean A LOT of people.

426 to be exact.

That number kept growing…and growing…so I finally decided to pick and choose who I should follow.

Now, I only follow 154 Twitter accounts. That’s still a lot, but it’s manageable.

I thought this would be a fun idea for a post:

“Why I Follow Who I Follow”

“Following” on Twitter is similar to the “Become a Fan” button on Facebook. Twitter users choose to follow certain accounts (these accounts vary from individuals to musicians to Fortune 500 companies). Once you follow an account, you’ll receive instant updates every time they make status updates. You can choose how much or how little they can interact with you.

I used to follow everyone and everything under the sun.

Big mistake.

It took me hours to catch up on Twitter feeds!

When I finally decided to sit down and figure out who to follow and who to forget, a few patterns emerged. I followed several breaking news resources (CNN, Breaking News, Fox Business…to name a few) and I also followed similar entertainment news resources (E!, TMZ, Hollywood Gossip). For the most part, these news sources posted the same things throughout the day. I figured I would pick my favorites (CNN and E! News, if you’re curious) and ditch the rest.

So why do I follow who I follow?

Simple: current news, good articles, deal$, and entertainment.

Here are 3 accounts that I follow…and why:

Mashable: This Twitter feed is awesome. I can stay current in my field (publishing) while finding out news, articles, and resources that I love to keep up with. I’d say I quote a Mashable article a few times a week, if not more. Recent status: 5 Companies Working Hard to Change the World – http://on.mash.to/H2KqZC

Rotten Tomatoes: I love movies. Every time I’m about to see one in theaters or rent one on Netflix, I turn to Rotten Tomatoes first. This Twitter feed updates the weekly box office, keeps up with new and newly released films, and shares news about films in the works. Recent status:┬áBully is #certifiedfresh. 93% @ 41 reviews. Critics say: “A vital, direct, and provocative expose of a national issue.” http://bit.ly/H5I27c

Barack Obama: Yes, I’m aware that our President probably doesn’t have time to Tweet, but I still love getting updates from the White House everyday. I love the feeling that I can connect with someone so powerful and important simply by reading his updates. Recent status: Have a favorite fired-up song? Take a look at our new supporter-driven @Spotify playlist and reply with your own picks: http://OFA.BO/UN3i5x

Why do you follow who you follow?