I consider myself a reformed Facebook junkie, there was a time when I binged on Facebook, hours spent looking at holiday photos of someone I’d not seen in 10 years, friending people I’d met in the 80’s. I appreciate that there maybe people reading this who hardly remember the 80’s. The 80’s was spent waiting for mobile phones and the internet. While we waited we had long leisurely phone calls based in one place as opposed to barking into a mobile; “I’m at the checkout, Text me”. We met up with people face to face in social environments. Meeting someone on holiday might mean exchanging addresses but really you never saw them again, now they become your Facebook friend – for ever.
I am a big fan it does enable me to keep in contact with friends overseas, friends around the corner who never answer their phone to me, some members of my extended family that previously I didn’t exchange Christmas cards with. Facebook can be a beautiful thing.
I now check Facebook most days rather briefly via an app on my phone, apparently 50% of 800 million active users check in daily, which in effect makes me normal, bingeing is a thing of the past. However, during my bingeing it seemed important to have lots of Facebook friends, rather like lots of glasses of pinot grigio on a night out, the more the merrier and but then it gets a bit out of hand.
I don’t have a huge amount of Facebook friends, more than the average 130 but less than many, but there are a number of randoms on my Friends list. A month ago someone I used to work with, someone who never extended much in the way of friendship towards me sent me a Facebook friend request, usually I just accept, but I hesitated I thought about it and rejected. I began to considered the people on my friend list who aren’t actually friends more unfriends and as part of myI pledged to ‘unfriend unfriends on Facebook’, therefore giving myself 1001 days to unfriend people – get a grip! until July 2014? Why do I feel bad about unfriending people I don’t even see or even communicate with even on the most basic Facebook level?
One of my real friends decided what’s the point of all this and culled 60 ‘friends’ (obviously as soon as she told me I rushed to check I was still in her fold – I was). So I did it I unfriended, I must admit I felt a bit of trepidation at the first one and had to give myself a little talking too and it was fine. I don’t imagine any of these people will notice I’m gone. I did consider going completely minimalist and unfriending madly but that’s not the point of Facebook and obviously, I need to be friends with the various people whose status updates I find ‘challenging’ (and blocked) and with a dog who has 3 friends and doesn’t even use it’s real name and never replies to my wall posts. I’ve come to think that a cull every now and then might be a healthy thing, because realistically I’m not going to delete my account and Facebook is forever and but actually not all ‘friends’ are.