Exciting news! One of my friends finally noticed I wasn’t on Facebook. It happened yesterday (Day 11) and she texted me to make sure I was ok. We had a lengthy personal chat via text, which while not the old-fashioned ‘voice call,’ at least we were able to catch up on each others’ lives. I explained that I was taking a sabbatical from the social media, and she understood but said that she still finds it good for keeping up with her out-of-town friends. She was worried that she’d done something to make me ‘unfriend’ her and I reassured her that was not the case at all.
How sad is it that social media makes texting back and forth seem more intimate? Pretty soon we will lose the ability to converse altogether and just be giving ‘thumbs up’ and nodding. Instead of writing e-mails to friends about happenings in our lives, we just spit out quick updates and hope our friends catch what’s happening on their news feeds. How long before we start paying Facebook to ‘promote’ our personal posts or have a script doctor spruce them up to make them more compelling?
So while everyone used to say ‘How many friends do you have?,’ perhaps the new goal should be ‘How many friends have you culled?’ If you took a long hard look at your Facebook list of friends and took off everyone you don’t actually want to talk to on the phone, how many would you end up with? Are you using it to stay in touch with the people you care about, or is it the way you project the image of the person you want them to see? Each of us has probably ‘unfriended’ that annoying spouse of a friend who never stops promoting their miracle weight loss shakes. Or the friend from elementary school who keeps proclaiming his political opinion so loudly that just blocking his posts wasn’t enough. So how many Facebook friends is too many?