One of my Facebook friends is a man I’ve met two or three times in a professional group. I don’t know him very well, but he seems like a rather smart and nice person. Unfortunately, he comments on at least 80 percent of my updates and posts. Most of his comments are pretty relevant and sometimes funny, but I feel that the amount of feedback I’m getting is disproportionate to our actual relationship. This guy seems like a pretty decent person. I value his online presence so I don’t want to just “unfriend” him or change my privacy settings. What do I do?
It’s always difficult when you have to put limits on a relationship. Whether you’re the person at the party trying to exit a never-ending conversation or the person on Facebook receiving more comments than you think are warranted, cutting someone else off is awkward. And it can leave hurt feelings and resentment if not done carefully.
If you have patience, first try some benign options. Give it time. Perhaps he’s new to Facebook and will reduce his commenting as the novelty wears off. Or you could take a break from posting for a week or two yourself. When you start up again, you may discover that he’s found other places to spend his time, and, therefore, he comments less often.
Approaching him directly would be the next step, but it will likely create awkwardness no matter how nice you are about, so if you decide it’s necessary to say something, accept that he may feel some embarrassment as it’s likely it wasn’t his intent to overload your page. Communicate with him directly, but do it gently and privately. Because you’ve met him professionally, you can call him or email him. “Jim, I value our professional friendship, and I’m glad we’re connected on Facebook. While I appreciate all your comments, I was wondering if you’d mind dialing your commenting back some? Thanks.”