my new facebook policy

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.



Filed under friends, product placement, quantum physics

15 responses to “my new facebook policy

  1. Great post! I have to admit that viewing/spying on certain people on FB has helped me put my life into perspective. The girls who never liked me in Jr. High are all fat, Miller Lite drinkers and living in the suburbs in the same town where we grew up. Makes living in London seem not so bad.

  2. What? No special category for blog people?

  3. Joe

    this is absolutely brilliant, ms. utt. but like you said, what can a nice minister like me do? sigh. i’m giving fb one more week.

  4. Pingback: facebook policy « CCFB Blog - Joe C. Hays

  5. Rebecca

    I like.

    I will say this–I have 450 or so FB friends and do not in any way look at it as a reflection of my coolness factor or an attempt to make up for being uncool in HS (I think I was at least a little bit cool then anyway). Rather, I think it is merely a reflection of how easy it is to send and accept a friend request, rather than actually take the time to send someone an email or call someone and ask what is going on in their lives.

    I go through my list every once in awhile and think about removing friends, and then remove a few, and then just get tired at trying to decide who to remove and who not to and move on. Also my memory sucks so if I get a friend request from someone whose name is familiar I can’t always remember if we were once BFFs who just drifted apart or if we never said more than “hi” to each other when passing each other in the girls’ bathroom at W-L. And I do admit at being curious–I love to see what people are doing now.

    I guess that means I need a policy too.

  6. Sam

    I don’t know you, and would not expect you to be my FB friend just because I read your blog, but since I’m allowed in the conversation . . .
    I think strategically formed “groups” can replace the need to have quite so many “friends.” For instance, I don’t want to be the last to know if somebody from High School gets married, runs for congress, or, God forbid, dies in a car wreck. So do I friend everyone I can find who went to my high school? No, I join the group “CBHS Class of 2004” and get all the messages about big news, reunions, etc. without having my newsfeed crowded with announcements that some girl I took American History with no longer considers “The Bachelor” to be one of her favorite TV shows.

  7. Here from CCFB blog–I love this! What great (and true) rules.

  8. Ha, so true on the post.
    I recently friended a guy I knew/was friends with in HS. To be perfectly fair to him, I was rather akward and nerdy in HS (not much has changed….). But he was too.

    But, if you look at his FB page, he’s totally re-invented himself – pictures with celebs (all work pics), status updates re: parties, boozin’ it up, cars, and 650 friends.
    I just wanna tell him – dude, you were a dork then, you’re still a dork, the FB persona is not real. (Maybe it is, maybe he really morphed into “super cool guy”, but safe money is not.)

    But then I’d have to talk to him, and I haven’t done that in like 10+ years.

  9. Peter said he would stop at 100 facebook friends “because it seems like a nice round number.”

    I think alcohol and number of facebook friends goes hand in hand. Pop that puppy of yours out, finish breast feeding, go back to hitting the bottle and see if your FB friend list increases!

  10. yael

    Thanks for the comments everyone. I forgot one criteria from my list: We’re Related. Which currently accounts for like 7% of my “friends”. Yes, I did the math(s).

  11. Maddo

    I would lower my friend count in order to not look like I’m trying to be cool, but I’m probably one of the friends that yael cleaned off. anyone want to be my friend?

  12. tosha

    hmmmmmmmm. well, i cringe everytime someone that i don’t recognize or remember wants to friend me on fb. or someone who was an asshole to me in the past (i.e. an ex boyf) who thinks that fb is an acceptable way to extend the olive branch. well, i know you’re pregnant and full of hormones, so don’t hate me for reminding you of this- when i first joined fb and i without hesitation routinely pressed “ignore” on requests you told me i was being a snob 😦 so, do i have permission now to go back to pressing ignore on requests from faceless names from w-l, t.j., and long branch? i hope you say yes …

  13. yael

    Well Tosha, I think I meant Homecoming Queens weren’t allowed to press ignore. You have to be good to the people that elevated you to the top.

  14. tosha


  15. tosha

    alright. i just accepted 6 more ppl last night from long branch, TJ or W-L that i do not recognize or remember for the life of me! celebrity sux 😦

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