I look at certain Facebook profiles where people have more than a thousand friends, and I’m left wondering … who are these friends?
Me, I only “friend” people I’ve met. There are maybe two or three people on my friend list who I’ve never met, and that’s just because I “know” them through blogs. But yeah, I’m picky with who gets to see my photos, my thoughts and my events. Because I’m private, and some stuff is none of your business. (Yes, the hypocrisy of feeling that way and having a blog is not lost on me. In my defense … I don’t think I’m an over-sharer in this space.)
In a handful of cases, I understand the thousands-of-friends thing. While I do not use Facebook to network professionally, I suspect I’m in the minority. Many use the social networking site to put a professional face forward and to connect to as many who can give them a job in this job-shaky environment as possible.
But me? I just want to upload my engagement pics and share “You suck if you’re anti-gay” news stories.
Anywho, I recently gave a few Facebook friends the boot. My general “Are you ‘friend’-worthy?” question is, “Would I want to have lunch with you tomorrow?” If not, then there’s really no need for me to keep abreast of your views of last night’s vice presidential debate, or how your kid’s first day of school went, or what you wore to the last Girl’s Night Out.
I see on others’ pages how offensive some view this to be. When some notice they’ve been unfriended, they take to their friends list and scour, looking for the meanie so they can leave a passive aggressive status update for someone who will not see it.
First, I have to wonder, why does “unfriending” matter? Do people truly use Facebook as a measure of their likability? Second, who knows the number of people on their friend list? I have absolutely no idea, and I was just ON my friend list. I don’t notice when people unfriend me unless it’s someone whose page I visit and realize … oh, I can’t visit that anymore. Ah, well.
In fact, I kind of enjoy the process of unfriending. Maybe some psychologist could tell me why. Personally, I think it’s because my page is for me. I want my newsfeed to be of interest to me. If a family member’s politics annoy me, I hide them. Oh, I don’t want to unfriend anyone I actually care about, but I have no intention of raging every time I sign onto the website. If I’m stick of looking at pictures of your kid, I’ll hide your updates. If I’m sick of hearing about your diet and looking at pictures of what you ate, hideen. This isn’t rude; it’s just me tailoring my “news” to the only person who reads it: moi.
What I’m wondering is: How do you use Facebook? Do you keep your friend list to people you actually enjoy? Or do you take a “the more, the merrier” approach? Do you go on unfriending sprees? If so, what are the criteria for people getting ditched?