When To Delete Someone From Your Social Media Network

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Carrie De Simas

Editor in Chief @ GoneWithTheWord

Social media has become a vital part of the self-published author’s life. It’s a way to network, self-promote, connect and grow as a professional. As with all relationships, though, there has to be boundaries. So how do you know when to delete someone from your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts? To unfriend them?

As an editor, I use my Facebook account as a professional tool. My British blood means that I like to keep my private life private and thus I put very little in terms of personally revealing information on my public platforms. I also have a strict no-BS and no-bad-blood policy for anything associated with my name. This means that I am ruthless when it comes to social gardening, aka plucking out the damaging elements in my online social world. My branding—and that of GoneWithTheWord—is a position of positivity. We look for strengths and celebrate personal and professional positivity.

What does this mean? And when is it time to cut someone out of the cyber-loop? Here are my top five reasons to delete someone:

  1. Derogatory comments. This includes all the obvious isms such as racism, sexism, etc. (Except, perhaps not hedonism…after all, if one piece of cake is good, imagine how much better the whole cake would taste!)
  2. Slanderous comments. Personal attacks on someone else’s work or person. I once saw a writer refer to another as a village idiot. Delete. Another writer badmouthed a former colleague and even posted up personal emails of the two of them bickering. Delete.
  3. Political or religious soliciting. What you believe in your personal life is totally within your rights. Vote for whomever you want. Believe in whatever deity, or lack thereof, that makes sense to you. But don’t try to push, promote or sell that to me or my network. Those are private beliefs and choices. Keep them that way.
  4. Endless self-promotion and selling. If all I ever hear and see from you is a variation of look at me! then there is no value added content to having you on my platforms. People get tired of the little writer who cried werewolf story too many times. You become static and there is enough noise out there already.
  5. Disregard for boundaries. When you add me to groups without my permission, tag me in photos that have nothing to do with me or my image or brand, send endless invites to play games, etc. you are showing a lack of respect and wasting my time.

Everyone will have different motives for deleting, or not deleting, people in the social media world. One of the authors I mentioned above (the one who badmouthed a former colleague and even posted personal emails between them) has a large following of people who jumped on the bashing bandwagon at the time. She got lots of attention and chatter over that incident. The question is though: what kind of professional image or brand is she promoting? Not one that I want associated with mine. 

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