Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Friends of Mine

Did you hear/read/see how Jimmy Kimmel called for a national Unfriend Day recently? A day set aside to "clean house" as my friend calls it, and get rid of anyone in your facebook friend list who is not actually your friend.

Everyone uses facebook differently. Some people use a facebook page to promote a personal business. Some people use it as their primary social network, and add anyone with whom they're connected - even a little. Other people treat facebook like their home - something to be protected, and kept private. Or, as private as a website can be, anyway.

The landscape of my facebook page has changed drastically in the last year. The first big change was some real education on facebook privacy settings and how facebook uses our information. That prompted an overhaul to the information I share, including customized privacy settings, and  deleting applications. While I fully support your right to tend a garden, run a mafia or feed fish on facebook, I won't be joining you.

The second major change was my friends list. I've made some new friends online (twitter and blogs). At first, I thought my twitter/blog life should be separate from my facebook life. But after a while, that seemed silly - and complicated. Really, what's the difference between someone whom I've never met in person, but with whom I talk everyday - and someone from grade-school who I've certainly met in person, but haven't spoken to in fifteen years? 

Does it cheapen the meaning of friendship when we broaden our definition? I don't believe so. I'm opening myself up to friendships I might not have otherwise found. I can connect with people by commenting on their status or post, sharing their blog, or posting on their wall. That connection is friendship - and it can happen with someone I've known for thirty minutes as easily as thirty years.

That's friendship. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Thanks to facebook, and social media - it's just easier to find.

What about you? Has facebook changed the way you look at friendship?


  1. I cleaned "friend" house on Facebook a couple of months ago, and it was the best thing I ever did. I first took a survey to ask people if they wanted to stay friends to please "like" or comment on the post, then after about a week whoever didn't like or post I deleted them. I have to say only a few people have asked to come back into the fold. I would recommend it once a year; like going through your closet, oh you haven't done that either, well get to it!

  2. Ha - how did you know I haven't cleaned out my closet! I have a friend who also routinely cleans house on facebook. I think a lot of people take that approach.