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!


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?

Being a film major while I was in college made me appreciate the value of film and video in our culture. It’s everywhere you turn; there’s no denying that fact.

Combining my love of film and social media, I always find it interesting when people learn valuable information through viral or informational videos. Take the video above, for example. It describes SOPA through a video demonstration. With SOPA in the news lately, this video now has over 100,000 hits on YouTube.

What’s really interesting is that many people choose to watch video content rather than reading an article about a certain topic.

With the “Share” feature in social media, it is easy to share video content with others.

How do you prefer to get your news or learn about a certain topic? Video or written articles?

After coming across this article from the New York Times, I started thinking about how social media affects high school reunion attendance rates. I have had conversations with friends about this topic before, and I was not surprised by the statistics in the article.

According to the article, a woman who owns a reunion planning company claimed she plans 220 reunions annually, down from 350 a few years ago.

I predict these numbers will only go down from here.

So why is there such a decrease in attendance at reunions? One reason is that the allure of the unknown about classmates is often gone, thanks to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. The usual catch-up phrases like “Are you married now?” and “Where do you work?” are not as common anymore…if you are already Facebook friends.

Most people admit they follow their Facebook friends’ updates, such as a new promotion or a marriage proposal. Social media has taken the fun out of catching up at high school reunions, and many agree.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of my high school graduation; my class did not plan a formal celebration. Other high schools, on the other hand, planned 5-year reunions around Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Although social media outlets take much of the mystery and excitement out of reunions, many people claim that seeing those people in person makes a strong impact that Facebook just cannot provide.

I agree that Facebook has taken away some value from reunions, but at the same time, I appreciate social media for allowing me to keep up and stay in touch with people I grew up with.

It’s Sunday.

How do I know it’s Sunday? Could it be my New York Times Sunday Edition arrival? Or my HBO Sunday night line-up?

No, it’s neither. I know it’s Sunday because I logged onto my social networking sites today, and pretty much the ONLY topic people talk about is — you guessed it — football.

If you’re logged onto any social media sites on Sundays and Mondays during the fall months, you are well aware of the football-related discussions and arguments that ensue.

Discussing football woes and triumphs through social media has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Social media statuses are now a hub for men and women alike to cheer for their favorite team, diss their biggest rival, and offer their overall NFL commentary.

Social media is a great way for friends and strangers to interact (both positively and negatively) about football-related topics before, during, and after games. One big perk about social media is that it offers second-by-second (play-by-play, if you will) updates about current games as they are happening. This feature is especially useful to sports fans who want to discuss football immediately.

Social media conversations about football (and sports in general) are ideal for fans who do not have access to televisions to watch games. These fans can receive immediate updates and can have detailed conversations through social media sites, making Facebook and Twitter important information hubs.

Overall, social media sites are great conversation starters for sports fans, and even non-sports fans.

And you will never forget what day of the week it is if you log onto Facebook on Sundays.