Welcome to the Ampersand Blog

The peeps at Kel & Partners have a lot to say. After all we are public relations and social media zealots who thrive on sharing interesting news and great stories with the public. The Ampersand Blog is really the voice of our Peeps – the kick-ass team of people that work at K&P. Whether it’s a story about the way PR works NOW, the social media universe, our families, beloved pets or quirky travel experiences, you’ll find it all right here. You may laugh, you may cry, but the best part is you’ll leave feeling “wicked smaht” as we like to say here in Boston.

  • Ginny Pitcher Facebook

    Ginny Pitcher | Thursday, July 28, 2011 23 Comments

    Martini or another Facebook friend?

    Tell me to purge my life of sugar, caffeine, um…alcohol, and I’ll start listing reasons why these vices are so very critical to my every day life, and I may even throw in that they are very much part of my every day charm. I mean I know they are bad for me. They don’t care whether I’m up or down, happy or sad, funny or dull, but I’m okay with that. They give me something and for that I am eternally grateful and they willingly have a friend for life.

    The funny thing is that there are very few things that I would tolerate in my life that treat me with such disregard. After all, who needs apathy? And, yet, for years I have carried the burden and weight of a very draining vice that I truly can no longer tolerate – the passive Facebook friend.

    You know whom I’m talking about. We’ve all got them. You get a friend request from an old high school friend. Yeah, maybe you weren’t that close, but she always seemed cool and didn’t she date that really hot football player? Or, maybe it’s an old co-worker whom you always thought was going to go places and now he’s friending you! Or, maybe it’s just a random friending. You know the kind that you would never do: the spouse of a current friend, a friend of a friend, a non-friend of a friend.

    But, for years, I didn’t care. I accepted friend requests like I might accept a Grey Goose very dry martini, straight up with a twist (I’m just saying, in case you were thinking of buying me a drink sometime). Anyway, I accepted these friends and never looked back. Never noticing if they ever shared something with me on my wall, commented on my posts, LOL’d at a picture, whatever.

    And then, a few weeks ago, I thought to myself. Why am I doing this? I get tremendous joy from Facebook. I have reconnected with old friends, sparking new conversations and moments to share. I have been able to lament about my bad days and rejoice in my great days, and have found true friends who care about my state – happy or sad. So, why would I open my world to someone who had absolutely no interest in it…other than stalking?

    For some, I suppose, the number of Facebook friends you have legitimizes your very being. We are often judged by what others perceive as success – the car you drive, the house you own, the job you hold, the number of connections you have. Facebook lets everyone see this, especially that elusive “number of connections” you have. And so I’m sure for some that’s a good thing. But, for me at least, I like to get something in return. If you’re going to see a picture of my latest feast at my favorite summer haunt or read a “he said what?” quote from my sometimes funny and often cringe-worthy 9-year-old son, I’m going to want to hear from you. Facebook is my conversation with my world, a two-way conversation. And, if you’re going to be my friend I would expect the occasional thumbs up, “eww…gross” comment, a shared ridiculous video, or some other touch base. Isn’t that what friends do?

    So, I did the unthinkable. I took my almost 750 friends (I might be embellishing here) and purged them down to 300. And let me tell you…it felt great.  I looked at each person and asked myself: When was the last time he or she reached out? Has he or she ever written on my wall after friending me? Honestly, if you really cared about staying connected to me why not check in now and again? Say hello, comment on a post, “like” my photo.

    For some, it may have been a bit of shock when they couldn’t see my wall or follow my conversations, but my guess is that for most, they didn’t even notice. And, with that, I raise my martini in one hand, Tangy Taffy in another and bid adieu to one vice that I can happily quit.

    How about you? Have you ever thought about purging your friends on Facebook?

  • http://twitter.com/RedHeadMeag Meagan Ellis

    I raise a martini to you, Ginny! (or will when I get home, anyway). I think this is the next “movement” in social – ppl realizing there's no value in numbers, and paring back to just those that bring meaning and engagement. Way to go!

  • http://twitter.com/thespottedduck Shelley Senai

    This reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite love-to-hate her reality TV villains, Rachel from Big Brother, when she annoyingly shouted – “Floaters, grab a life vest!” But it's true, some people are just floating there, casually sharing in your life without giving anything back. I agree with you that they're not entirely necessary but I'm not sure I'll go the extra step and make the effort to cut them all (p.s. did you cut me!? LOL. You've got me thinking, gee, when was the last time I commented on something Ginny posted!?).

  • Michelle

    Cheers Ginny! You're funny gal.

  • Teleia

    Ironically I was just thinking about purging some “friends” on FB — b/c believe it or not there are a few I don't even remember (yikes) & some that NEVER respond to anything I post.  I think for me personally what is most disappointing are some of my closer friends and their lack of engagement all together!  I can't de-friend them but sometimes it's tempting :)

  • Marissa

    I think it is rad that desire to connect with people in a genuine way. This blog is a great reminder to “keep it real.”

  • http://twitter.com/ginnypitcher ginnypitcher

    I agree! It's good to stop sometimes and ask yourself that…is it real? Because it's so much better when it is…

  • http://twitter.com/ginnypitcher ginnypitcher

    I'm always amazed when someone friends you and then absolutely says nothing. No, “Hey Ginny I saw you on Facebook and wanted to reach out and say hello…” Nothing. Absolute crickets. Who needs that?

  • http://twitter.com/ginnypitcher ginnypitcher

    Check it Shelley, you're safe! It actually felt great to actually purge. I think cutting them has to do with how you decide you want to use Facebook. Since I put so much of myself out there, it almost allows me to use Facebook more genuinely b/c I'm not guessing what people are thinking. I know the people on there are safe and enjoying the ride with me :)

  • http://twitter.com/ginnypitcher ginnypitcher

    I'll drink to that! (Not the funny part but the fact that you're “cheering”).

  • http://twitter.com/ginnypitcher ginnypitcher

    Amen sista'! You've got to be genuine in your life — it doesn't matter if it's online or offline. Make sure you get a nice spray of that twist in your martini, it makes all the difference.

  • Diane W.

    I'm about to go “like” and comment on your page 50 times to confirm that I make the next round of cuts…and then look at my friend list.

  • Kathy Carl

    G, Me heart you and always will! I am raising my glass right now to a forever friend!

  • Tom

    Quality not quantity is what counts. Glad I'm in your quality queue:-) You are in mine. Enjoy your very dirty martini!

  • http://ampersandblog.com/?p=206 Klout, schmout « Ampersand Blog

    [...] past the “my follower/friend count defines my SM self worth” stage of evolution (see posts from Ginny Pitcher and Chris Brogan for more on that), I think we all look for some metrics that will define our [...]

  • http://%/hggdac2269 Alfonso

    .

    tnx for info!!

  • http://%/bbbhached36 matthew

    .

    tnx!!

  • http://%/bcajjgcdf5 Lloyd

    .

    áëàãîäàðåí!!

  • http://%/deeebcjg5 jason

    .

    tnx for info!!

  • http://%/fadjieh3730 Jeff

    .

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó!!

  • http://%/gggdeeh617 curtis

    .

    ñïàñèáî çà èíôó.

  • http://%/cedabcgjc3 ryan

    .

    ñïñ.

  • http://%/agifec013 Dustin

    .

    ñïàñèáî çà èíôó.

  • http://%/dfcddg58 lewis

    .

    ñïàñèáî çà èíôó!!