A recent post from Geoff Livingston, Feature Request for Facebook: Unfriend the Hidden, has me concerned.
He makes very valid points, such as, “When someone hides my feed they have already voted no to conversation.”
He continues that the value of his social network is in “the potential conversation and engagement we can have on Facebook via dynamic threaded conversations.”
I agree that for business and organizations, this information would be great, but for the regular person using Facebook, this would be absolutely detrimental and cause the very conflict Facebook wants to avoid.
[Editor’s note: Dear Extended Family and a few friends currently potty training their children, for the sake of our relationship, please stop reading here.]
As most of you know, my Facebook is pretty sterile. Now that I use it for more work related purposes, it is even more sterile. But my friends and family don’t always keep the same standards I’ve set for myself, nor should they. Rather than block them or keep them from posting to my wall or worse try to censor them, I just hide their feeds and hide or delete their comments on my wall. When I want to know how things are going for them or what they are up to, I just go to their page directly.
If those select friends and family were to just get notified by Facebook that I’ve hidden their feed without my opportunity to explain the circumstances, relationships and friendships would likely be ruined and without the Facebook contact, some might never get a chance to be regained.
The bottom line is I say don’t add this feature. It will cause more harm than good.