How many real friends do you have?
We mean real, genuine, bona-fide friends.
Someone who you know you can call on – night or day – and they’ll be there to help, no questions, no qualms.
Now – how many friends do you have on Facebook?
We’re willing to bet that the difference between the two answers is more than significant. It seems that we accumulate Facebook “friends” like we accumulate clothes – exciting when they’re brand new, but the vast majority inevitably get pushed to the corner and rarely seen or heard of again.
And yet most of us just can’t seem to get rid of them – they’re just there, in our lives. Just taking up space.
Facebook call them our friends because they want to encourage us to share, be social and publish every aspect of our lives on their site – even though Facebook “contacts” or Facebook “acquaintances” may be more appropriate for 90% of a users friends list.
But alas we do not have to live with our mistakes. It’s all reversible and if you’ve amassed far too many Facebook friends over the years then may be it’s time for a quick visit to the Salvation Army to donate some “friends” to those who may be in need of some more. November 17th is National Un-friend Day, apparently – at least if you watch Jimmy Kimmel Live (we don’t) who is urging all Facebook users to cut ties with all the frivolous Facebook friendships they’ve accrued during their tenure on the social networking site.
Perhaps it’s not a bad idea – from a security point of view, cutting down on the amount of people you ‘friend’ on Facebook will certainly help slow down the masses of nonsense that circulate virally across the site everyday. It would mean those Copy+Paste-Happy Posters [[who constantly urge their “friends” to pass on messages ranging from the latest Facebook “most destructive ever SPAM Trojan Virus Worm Bomb” to “everyone who’s name begin with N is a Facebook paedophile” – you know, just in case]] will certainly experience a drop in friends, and thus their negative effect on the site will drop too. Additionally you’re far less likely to receive potentially dangerous links from “friends” that have fallen for scams on Facebook.
There is a less drastic action you can take and that is to get aquainted with Facebook Lists which – just like Googles+’s Circles – allow you to prioritise your contacts and control who’s posts you see and when, and how much information different friends can see about you.
So if you’re fed up with finding out what’s on someone’s dinner plate half way across the world, or you’re just not interested by the fact that someone you’ve never met has bought a pink blouse to go with their navy blue work trousers, or you don’t want to receive 54 requests to join CityVille every week, or you have no inclination to keep count of the amount of fights an old school friend has had with their boyfriend, then maybe – just maybe – its time for a Facebook friend cull.
Let us know the most inane, dull, unexciting, tedious, pointless piece of information you have learnt from reading someone’s Facebook status.