Social Networking Question
January 2, 2009, 8:17 pm
Filed under: friends, social networking

So, with the start of the new year, I’ve been giving some thought to my online world of “friends.”  Specifically, I’ve been thinking about going through my “friends” on Facebook and purging some folks.  There are lots of folks that I’ve met once, became Facebook friends with, and then have never seen or heard from them again.  In most of these cases, I won’t ever see or talk to them again.  Students who have come through Seattle on a mission trip, friended me, then went back home, graduated, and are off to their careers are a good example.

And then there are all the people who have sent me friend requests, even though we’ve never met, and likely never will.  They’ve seen some famous people on my friend list, and think that if I know so-and-so, they want to know me.

I’m not trying to be a friend scrooge or anything, but I’m also not trying to play the Facebook/MySpace popularity game either – how many friends can I say I have, whether they’re legitimate or not.

All of this, of course, has me thinking I should develop some ground rules.  Like, am I allowed to be online “friends” with someone I’ve never met in person?  If so, am I allowed to be friends with someone I’ve never at least had e-mail interaction with?  Blog comments?

What does qualify?

There used to be this funny saying that “You’re not really friends until you’re friends on Facebook.”  Well, that’s never been true, and it’s certainly getting less and less true.

So what do you think?  Should I purge my friendship list?  If so, what should be criteria be?  Comment away.


6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

“how many friends can I say I have?”

Well that one’s easy. Facebook lets you have 5,000. 🙂

Seriously, that’s a good question. I tend to accept anyone unless they’re not a ‘they’ – that is, if its a FB page for a company trying to sell something. (For that, I might become a Fan). But I’m pretty liberal when it comes to accepting friend requests – I see it as a fun way to get to peek into people’s lives, and vice-versa. Consequently, I don’t put anything super-personal on my FB page. If you wanted to use it for something more intimate, by all means, purge away – I won’t even be offended if you delete me. 🙂

Comment by zoecarnate

…I should have said “unless they are a ‘they’…”

– editor Mike

Comment by zoecarnate

Like it or not, there is a reputation/brand building aspect to social networking. If you have a blog, book, or service to promote (or if you need a new job), more friends are better even if they’re not really friends.

Of course, there are the purists among us. People who do not want their name, photos, status, or opinions passed around to anyone but their true friends. Either group has just as much right to use a social network like Facebook. I have friends in both categories (some who, unfortunately, look down their noses at the others).

You’ll need to make your own decision on how to use Fb. Either way, I hope i make the cut ;^]’

Comment by jacksbuzz

I’ve been thinking about purging my list as well, but then I cut about 2 1/2 people and start feeling guilty.

Comment by petey*crowder

This is funny because the other day my roommate and I sat in my room and deleted people who we didn’t talk to anymore from our friend’s list. We very happily announced each person while we erased, as if we were released from some social pressure, to be friends with all these random people. It was fun. I just thought I’d let you know :).

Comment by Ronnie

If your going to purge some friends, make sure you install the Whopper Sacrifice application so you can get a free whopper for purging some of your friends.


Comment by Jonathan Grubbs

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