I have 643 friends on Facebook. The number’s not 5,000 like some of my friends, but enough that it kind of saturates who I actually care about.
To me, Facebook and Twitter have made friendships a lot less meaningful. Do I really need to be friends with 643 people? No one actually stays in contact with that many friends and people in real life, so what makes our social media life any different?
Do I really need to be friends with the guy who sat next to me in ECON 305 in college? No. Do I really need to be friends with my kickball buddy’s girlfriend? No. Do I really need to be friends with a fellow concession worker when I was employed by my local movie theater in high school? No. Do I really need to be friends with a supermodel I met when I went on vacation to the Bahamas? Maybe.
Why do we keep these people as friends on Facebook? I honestly do not care about what is going on in their lives, and I undoubtedly know they don’t care about what is going on in my life either. Is it a contest? Do we get a Facebook Teddy Bear if we hit the 5,000 mark? Nope. (At least I don’t think we do. But please inform me if you actually do receive one so I can try to get that).
Comedian/late night host Jimmy Kimmel created National Unfriend Day on November 17, 2010, and after I thought about it, I actually did it. I deleted about 350-400 friends and it actually made me care a lot more about my News Feed on Facebook. I had “hidden” a few people previously who posted frequent, random, worthless posts that I never cared about, but deleting those people made me feel so much more refreshed.
Here’s a true test. Post this as your status: “Can anyone help me move a grand piano to my apartment located on the fifteenth floor of my complex? Sidenote: my elevator is broken.” See who responds. Keep those people as your friends. Those are the people that actually care about you. Those are the people that actually are your friends. If you haven’t talked to someone in over a year or so, why are they still your friends on Facebook? And maybe even a better question: why are they still your friends in life? Clearly you don’t really care about them that much or you would have at least made an attempt to talk to them within the past year. Think about it.
Do yourself a favor. Celebrate National Unfriend Day this year. Heck, celebrate it right now. It will make your life a lot less cluttered and make your Facebook page a lot less spammy-looking. Maybe you disagree with me and you think that everyone should stay connected so you can “remember your life better” or something along those lines. Maybe I’m wrong, who knows? Tell me in the comments below if you think I’m looking at it in the wrong perspective. I’m open to any and all feedback, positive or negative. But you know what? I think I might go try to delete a couple hundred more “friends” right now…
Exceptions to the rule: moms, dads, relatives, relatives’ friends, your boss, your clients, old best friends, and people who saved your life at any point in time.