Sunday, November 14, 2010

A measly 200 friends

I got started on Facebook much later than most people I know. Of course I still occasionally run into someone who continues to resist; my husband is one of those.  From the beginning, I mainly interacted with my Facebook profile when it interacted with me: if someone "friended" me, I responded; when someone wrote on my "wall" or sent me a message, I viewed it. I made only a few efforts to find people from my past, and quickly grew weary of the superficial "OMG how are you?" posts that rarely progressed beyond those few words. So even though I was "on" Facebook, I just didn't spend very much time on Facebook. 

For reasons I can't quite identify or recall, I've clicked over to Facebook more often recently, and as much as I would have preferred to remain oblivious, discovered that I am deficient in friends. I've always found the implicit pursuit to collect the most "friends" on a social network to be a ludicrous paradox, so I never meant to get involved. But I accidentally noticed on a few of my (real) friends' profiles that they have over 300, 400, even over 500 Facebook friends.  That day I had 183. 

Pretend that you don't care how many friends you have if you want to, but there is no denying that personal connections make us feel liked. Also, it's easy to pretend you don't care if you are one of the ones with many hundreds of friends. Now, we all know that Facebook friends do not equal real friends. They aren't all people you'd invite to your birthday party, even if they all lived nearby. I started out very selective about my Facebook friends, but lightened up about it as time went on.  The truth is, I don't have copious opportunities to make acquaintances like some of my church-going/world-traveling/bar-hopping associates.  So many of the people I know are my business clients, and it makes me nervous to think about them viewing photos of my private life or clicking on the link to my blog. But I got a little fire under my butt for some reason to boost my friend numbers (my ego), and have been actually clicking some of the "people you might know" suggestions. I still have a hard time sending a friend request to someone I was never close to in the first place, it makes me uncomfortable. 

My half-hearted endeavor has grown the list to 190 friends so far. Two hundred is within reach! 

I am pathetic. 


Jennifer said...

As one who rarely uses Facebook, I just checked my profile and was shocked to see I have 430 friends. Who are all these people?? To be honest, if I had started on Facebook after I was married, I would have at least 100 less friends. I think most of my BYU Singles ward from 2006 (when I joined Facebook) is on my friend list. And yet, I have absolutely no relationship with 99% of them now--and we were only acquaintences to begin with. I actually spent a little time removing some "friends" tonight. :) You're not pathetic--I think you're just normal. :)

Jennifer said...

Ok, thanks to you I just spent/wasted an hour on Facebook! I'm down to 404 friends and learned lots of things about other friends!

Bridget said...

I was more welcoming when I first joined fb and approved almost anyone because I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I'm more selective now. And FYI, when you move a lot, you tend to pick up more friends. Just sayin' that might be why I have more than 400.


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