Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's the Day

Today is the day to cleanse my Facebook friend list. Out of 775 of my “friends”, how many of them are actually my friends? Why did I even have that many friends in the first place? It’s not like I keep in touch with most of those people and some of them I’ve only met once!

Usually all it takes for me to add someone on Facebook is to recognize who he or she is. I’ve always had tons of “friends” because of that, but the majority of people who I’m connected with have absolutely no significance to me whatsoever. For example, high school classmates of mine and mutual members of clubs I had joined in the past take up a significant portion of my list. Just because I added them does not mean that I care at all what is going on in their lives.  Should I really be calling them my “friend”? Obviously not every single person I recognize is actually my friend, nor does that mean they even deserve the title of acquaintance. Without a doubt, anyone who I feel this way about should deserve to be a part of my Facebook cleanse.

Clearly I’m not the only person on Facebook that has this issue. Lots of people who use Facebook have several hundred or even thousands of friends. Many of the people on friend lists are probably classmates, acquaintances, friends of friends, maybe coworkers, but not many of them would truly be considered a friend.  Sometimes people add “friends” who they’ve never even met before!

Because of Facebook and social networking, many people have come to understand “friendship” with a false definition. Just think: of a thousand friends on Facebook, how many of them do you actually consider a friend in real life? Sure, social networking was made with the intent to keep people connected and in touch with each other, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that every single person that adds you should be labeled as a friend, or even have access to your information.

Being a friend should mean so much more than just recognizing a person’s name or face. Anyone with the title of “friend” should be someone who you talk to, keep in touch with, and get along with. The term friendship should not be thrown around like it is on Facebook; the connections that are created online are very different from true friendship.

If you are one of the people who fit into the category of having too many “friends”, I would highly recommend cleansing your friend list as well. Doing so not only makes your Facebook experience safer, but it also makes it much more meaningful. Removing certain connections on Facebook may seem like a big deal, but why should it matter if the people you delete aren’t even important to you? So do what many people are doing these days and reconsider what exactly it means to be a friend. Don’t let social networking redefine the importance of true friendship!