Some friends and I have been discussing lately our boundaries on Facebook. In a long-awaited and much-enjoyable move the other day, I actually removed some of my “Friends”. Far from this proving I am a “mean girl”, I think I am doing those practically-strangers a favor: I am going to stop snooping on them. Frankly, it makes my brain hurt to look at photos of someone’s theme party last weekend who I have not spoken to since 1994 when we all graduated high school. And when in reality in four years of high school we never spoke either. This is some weird sh*t.
Newsweek summed it all up nicely. We’re sort of all liars when it comes to our FB habits and motives.
One thing I will tell the truth about is that I don’t think people with high “friend” numbers are cool or popular by virtue of their count. I understand that if you’re 16 years-old you must add every person you’ve ever met or heard of to your FB as a sort of social acceptance prereq, like having braces, texting and hating your parents. But what gives on the 30-somethings? I worry that Facebook for some people is a long overdue opportunity to prove to themselves that those years long ago when they felt like a social misfit must have been a figment of their imagination. No, it wasn’t. You suffered along with the rest of us. Now remove some of those strangers and let’s all just get down to the important business: commenting on each other’s status updates and judging who has not aged gracefully.
A draft of my new policy. Your input desired.
I will only have people as “Friends” on my Facebook account if:
- I like them, could recognize them on the street and wouldn’t be upset if we had a live social meeting
- They are witty and can be relied on for sometimes-hilarious status updates and commentary
- I once dated them and need to stalk them (this is a work in progress)
- I have some inexplicable need to look at their photos
- There is some politically-motivated work-related necessity (including Bryan’s job)
- I am too lazy to get their personal email address but sometimes need to communicate with them
- They think I am awesome and therefore stroke my ego periodically
- Watching them is like watching a trainwreck, but happier because no one actually dies
P.S. Apparently even my nice friends share my angst.