As of late, I’ve found myself increasingly disliking Facebook. For a long time I kept to a strict rule that if I it wasn’t family, someone I regularly talk to, or someone I’d like to regularly talk to, they were not going to be my Facebook friend.
This worked, for awhile. Then I allowed in a couple of high school friends since, hey, it’s not like I actively disliked them or anything, and it would be rude to turn them down. But those couple of connections opened up a lot more, and I’ve been getting more and more requests from people that I haven’t talked to in over four years.
When I friend them we exchange a message or two talking about what we’re up to, and then the conversation dies out, and we’re left reading each other’s inane status updates (no pretension here, I’m guilty of stupid statuses too). So I regularly hid people from my news feed, giving me a socially acceptable way to not see their crap anymore without looking like a jerk.
And then, I got in iPad for Christmas. I didn’t realize that iPads automatically sync your Facebook contacts, and there was no way I could find to sift out the people that I didn’t actually want to call/email/etc to have just the people I actually wanted to talk to.
I know, First World Problems, but this gave me a kick in the pants to clean up my profile and friends.
It should be noted that when I started I had just over 40 friends. Yes, 40 friends, about a quarter of which I didn’t actually really want to talk to. I swear, I don’t hate people! I’m just tired of putting on a facade of being interested and “friends” with someone when we’re barely casual acquaintances.
It took me a couple days to actually cull my friends list; I felt guilty, like I was treating people like clutter. What about networking? Finding new friends? There was even a nagging voice that if I really want to be a blogger, I’m going to have to embrace social networking.
But realistically, most of the people I ended up deleting live two or more hours away, and I hadn’t hung out with them in years anyway. Thus, networking and new friend possibilities were already pretty slim (and wouldn’t keeping them around for a hidden agenda like that be worse than just deleting them?).
I ended up with 28 friends, about half of which is family/significant other’s family. My profile looks distinctly anti-social. But these are all people that I know, like, and am interested in their life and what they post about.
I don’t plan on keeping it quite this thin. Between Meetups and work I’m slowly making new friends that I’ll be adding since they’ll be actual, real friends. I think I’ll try to keep my list at a max of about 40-50, enough to allow me to be social, but any more than that and I probably have been adding a lot of casual acquaintances.
What about you? Do you like having a lot of Facebook friends, or do you keep your profile pretty locked down. Do you have any standards or guidelines for who you add?