That’s what friends are for

I used to collect coins, stamps, stickers, and pencils when I was a kid. I had quite the enviable collections, and my coins and stamps may actually even hold some value today. I don’t know what the kids are collecting these days, but I know from a few friends of my own that collecting Facebook ‘friends’ is a popular practice. Now, to each his/her own – Facebook is a platform that can be used for multiple purposes, and my one friend who is a club promoter is running a business with her Facebook page. My other friends who have like a thousand friends though, what they heck are they up to?

I think how people utilize a social medium like Facebook says a lot about them, and I wonder if psychologists and sociologists are all over this yet. My story is that I was anti social networking for a long time, and I even wrote no less than two manifestos to a couple of particularly anxious friends who tried to pressure me into participating in Facebook before I wanted to. But then one day, I did it, and pretty much instantaneously, I had a few friends and a few nice little wall posts, and that lead to my revisiting my stance on the whole thing. I did maintain one rule for myself, and that was that I wouldn’t be fake friends with anyone, meaning that if you’re not my real life friend, then you aint gonna be my Facebook friend either. Well, at some point my principles must have gotten lost in the game, because I hit over 180 friends, and then I stepped back and didn’t like what I was seeing. It’s just way too easy to get caught up in the friends collecting, and while some people may desire to be Facebook celebrities, the more friends I gained, the more closed off I became.

If you know me then you have inevitably heard the word cybersecurity come out of my mouth. And while one particular friend of mine loves to make fun of my nerdiness with things like this, it’s not really a laughing matter. I for one, set my privacy settings on Facebook to what I feel comfortable with, and when my numbers started to increase, I found myself shutting some poor ‘friends’ out of my photos, my wall, basically everything. So then I decided this is silly – I need to bite the bullet and de-friend some people. It wasn’t personal, but based on whether I saw myself communicating with certain people, and if I wanted to share things with them. So I wittled down about 40 people, and was feeling alright about it, hoping they wouldn’t notice or read into it the wrong way. But then, I ended up seeing someone I de-friended, and me being the ridiculously overhonest person I am, blurted out that I had de-friended him, but that I was going to re-friend him since we were not strangers anymore.

Good thing I was trying to simplify, huh? But that’s ok, I’m comfortable with being me, even if me is a bit of a Facebook freak. (Did I mention that I also erase comments and posts sometimes? No reason for it, other than some things I convey are meant to be ephemeral – I’m a limited time offer, folks!)

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