I finally got my Facebook connections down to a comfy 70 or so people. Who got cut? Why? What does it mean?
Well, here was my trimming logic:
- If I added you, but our relationship wasn't presently tangible be it due to natural decay, apprehension, a sense of reservation on your part or mine, or something else - I'd prefer you read my blog or Google me when you're curious. Under this configuration I'm probably pandering to you in the first place, which is something we're both above. CHOP. CHOP. CHOP.
- If you added me or I added you, but, you're an online social marketer or disseminator where the value of our connection was more about my presence adding a node of value to your online reach - I'd prefer to visit your blog (or You Tube Channel, or Twitter account - turns out that most connections that fit this category are the same people who keep an abundance of online feeders, which is cool because just because you're good at networking online and somewhat invested in it, doesn't mean I want to lose touch). CHOP. CHOP.
- You're a woman I added thinking you were attractive and figured Facebooking might be the start of something. But now, I humorously regard my own folly for the desperate cliche' that such Facebook friending is. CHOP. CHOP. CHOP. CHOP. CHOP. CHOP. CHOP. (Jesus!) CHOP.
- You requested friendship and I accepted but I really have no idea who you are. And worse, you remain ominously silent, never e-mailing, never commenting on one of my tweets, never posting anything to my wall. Kinda creepy. CHOP. CHOP.
- You're a Starbucks laptop politician looking for my vote and support every single day while you work to break into holding your first public office. Again, not that you wouldn't have my vote and not that I don't support you, but as above, I'd just as soon pop in on your blog when I've got a taste to get behind a runner. Right now the President is a friend, and I'm even thinking about dropping him. So don't feel bad. CHOP. CHOP. CHOP. CHOP.
- I de-friended you accidentally. In this case you simply need to request re-friending. If I initiate the re-friending, the whole sudden "de-friending re-friending" thing will simply make me look neurotic. I admit, this is a helpful category because if anyone should confront me on why I de-friended them, I can tell them, yeah, this paragraph was about them.
All this begs the question, what were the characteristics of people I kept?
- My new Facebook Friending Standard: If I genuinely like you. If I see your picture or avatar in my feed and I get a warm feeling, perhaps due to a friendly time we spent actually dating, chatting, drinking, or working together, I kept you. Even if it hasn't been recently.
- If you're a family member. Family is family after all.
- Power Play. Sure maybe I got reservations about you and more than likely vice versa. But, shoot, I'd be politically crazy not to stay connected and up to date with your birthday or latest divorce. Hey, after all, I'm there for ya, man.
- Something of a variant: Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.
- You're a woman I added thinking you were attractive. I figure
Facebooking might be the start of something and, as of yet, fail to humorously
regard my own folly for the desperate cliche' that such Facebook
What Should Facebook Be About Anyway?
I should point out that this process, which I began about a month ago, has been very illuminating about the purpose of Facebook in general. Should Facebook serve as a platform for people who actually like each other and are actually friends? Or, is it more a generic connection machine where you and I just project the intent of friend status?
All my friends know, for instance, that I'm never the popular guy. Aside from lacking "relationship driving" attributes (things like physical charisma, money, or power, attributes which are the real relationship-ignitors before you're 40, if not forever) I'm also too unconventional. And, I'm too driven by a custom philosophy that most people, average, great, and not so great, really have to work to connect with. Conversely, I feel it is too much work myself most of the time, making my outreach very selective and perhaps somewhat selfish. My friendships work better as a one to one communication, not a process of group validation.
In such a case as mine shouldn't Facebook be a sort of techno way to change that? Shouldn't it be a conduit for the asperger-ridden solitudes of the world like myself to bridge the outside world to them? Wouldn't it be better to connect to as many people as possible who have so many reservations in the first place, and dissolve those reservations by letting people get to know me over time through my postings, pictures, and links?
Putting aside the presumptuous notion that exposing people more to my thought-stream would dissolve rather than magnify apprehensions, yes, I have considered that. But shucks, that is what Twitter is for. That is what this blog and my other blogs are for. That is what my online profiles at Digg or Yahoo are for. It's what Google "David Pinero" is for. In short, it's what the web itself is for.
Facebook, by contrast, must imply a higher standard of likability and association. It must be a genuine metric for social progress whether it be rich and thriving, or delapitated and empty. If it is a reflection of everyone I connect to merely out of an "idea" that we are friends or acquaintances, it loses meaning and, worse, it becomes that "other" proprietary web space that I'm always railing against. The truth is, it works out well either way depending on who you are. But for me, where I am at today, I much prefer it to be a happy non-polluted place, filled with the rants of people I actually care about and, to a higher degree at least, people who feel the same way about me.