Why I Rarely, If Ever, Defriend People on Facebook

The number of ‘friends’ I have on Facebook is no longer
border-line ridiculous. It’s full-on crazy. I crossed that line many moons ago when people whom I’ve
never met started requesting to be my friend because they read one of my
columns in an ag mag somewhere. Seriously, who in their right mind has ~2,200
‘friends’ and actually talks to more than 50? 100? Not me. Sorry, outsider 2,100
but we just really aren’t connecting as well as we used to in the days of old.
However, I refuse to defriend 2,100 people based on the fact
that we no longer talk (did we ever start?). Why? Well, in my line of work,
issues and reputation management, the things I share on my
Facebook wall have the potential to impact my non-ag, urban peers in a way that
can give them insight into the agriculture industry.
For example, this appeared in my timeline yesterday. Holly is a
girl who came to some of our house parties during undergrad at K-State. I think
she might have been related to my roommate also, but I can’t recall. I haven’t
talked to Holly in at least six years, possibly more. But when I saw this, I
knew I had to say something. Jamie Oliver has smeared the name of lean, finely
textured beef perhaps more than Jim Avila, ABC and Diane Sawyer did in their
crusade. So, I politely gave Holly more info on lean, finely textured beef and
its production process via a link from a foodinsight.org, a public information
website about food.

picture of Facebook conversation about lean, finely textured beef

Holly may or may not reply and she may or may not look at
that link. But Holly’s 700 friends are now ALL able to see that link and
hopefully one or two or 12 of them will click and learn about how safe lean, finely
textured beef is for consumers. It’s 100% beef!

Urban consumers aren’t the only ones that my posts target. You’d
be surprised at how many people from Anderson County, Kansas (my home base
which is EXTREMELY agriculturally oriented) grew up in ag families and showed
livestock but say things like “I don’t want to buy beef that has been given
hormones.” That happened to me at lunch, in that small ag community in
southeast Kansas, and my jaw literally dropped – I wasn’t expecting that
reaction from that individual. Le-sigh.
So, while my newsfeed is constantly filled with baby
pictures of children whose parents I long ago stopped talking to, rad status
updates from friends of ex-boyfriends and, probably the most confusing, wedding
pictures of young women who’ve married and changed their names leaving me with
no idea who they are, I will forge on with my ag promoting, sarcasm-touting
Facebook practices because you never know who might be reading or who you might
reach with the right info.
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~


3 responses to “Why I Rarely, If Ever, Defriend People on Facebook”

  1. Excellent point Buzzard! Robin and I have discussed something somewhat related to this many times. Most of us Ag loving peeps have mostly ag loving Facebook friends. Our not so informed peers are the ones that need the info, not the people on the same side of the fence as us.

  2. You are exactly right. And you are even more correct about there being a lot of family members and peers that have been surrounded by agriculture that still have questions. I just stopped looking at the number of friends I have!

  3. Hilarious! It is so true, I actually made is a point to delete people from high school just recently because there came a point where I was tried of the "boyfriend status'" and new engagements! You make a good point though, Facebook is a great way to teach out to people who may not stumble upon articles on agriculture and it is a really sneaky way to inform them! Getting the message out there is probably the most important thing today because of all the special interest groups attacking agriculture, and we need to get to the people first before they beat us to it!