Thursday, December 4, 2008

Friends on facebook

Many of us have a profile on facebook, including me. I'm not quite as active as some people are, but I do try to update my status and keep up to date on what is going on in my friends' lives. A few of them have really gotten into facebook, and I've found it's the only way to keep in touch with them anymore since their e-mail accounts seem to be non-existent.

But what I'm really curious about is how do you choose who is your "friend" on facebook? Everyone's definition of "friend" is different, and I would presume on facebook, it may not be as conventional since it
is a social networking site.

For me, when someone adds me as their friend, there has to be some personal connection with them. I've never denied anyone who has asked me, since it is usually someone who I know well, went to high school with, grew up with, etc. Though even with my college, high school/childhood classmates, I am often interested in who chooses whom to be their "friends." On a few occasions, I found someone who I went to elementary school with, and e-mailed them first. Some included me as their "friend," others did not.

So herein lies my dilemma. And it is probably incredibly corny and juvenile. Yesterday, this guy from high school added me as his "friend." I was quite surprised to see this, despite the fact that we have several mutual friends. This was a guy who I dated in my early years of high school. We went to a winter dance together and was supposed to go to prom together, but he wound up going with someone else. That really upset me, especially since everyone kept saying he was going to ask me. I went to prom alone that year, but that's okay, because I was on prom committee, so I handled the decorations and all.

Eventually, I got over being dumped and actually decided I did not like the guy anymore. It wasn't, because he dumped me but more that he had changed. In his junior year, he ran for student government and became elected president. He was no longer the charming, sweet, sensitive guy I knew, but rather turned into just "one of the crowd," finally gaining his acceptance into popularity. He went from being drama boy to student elected government president. It seriously changed him, and we never connected again.

I guess my dilemma is whether to add him as my friend even though I guess I could say I'm holding a small grudge. I don't have any interest in him in terms of "boyfriend" or playing out the "would have" scenario, but I do hold a little curiosity in what was going through his head at that time. Besides, even if I was interested in him, I found out he recently came out of the closet. This reminds me, another crush I had in elementary school, apparently is also gay now too. I guess I'm 0 for 2 in the department of childhood crushes.

If you're interested, here are several samplings of studies/articles about facebook:

Facebook friends=poor adjustment
Facebook benefits extroverts most
Want to win friends and influence people? Use facebook and IMs
Number of friends on Facebook and Narcissism


Anonymous said...

Well I have two facebook accounts, one for real life and one as Lola. In real life I have 170 friends on there, but they are all people I have tracked down from school, college, and travelling so it is a great way of being nosey more than anything else. I have different security settings for each group though, so if it's someone I dont know that well, they don't get full access to my photos and stuff.

If they choose to give me full access despite not knowing me that well, then that's their lookout. Having said that, I'm not all that interested in looking through the happy snaps of someone I only have a passing connection to, so they are pretty safe! I do trawl their friends though, because it makes me laugh finding they know people I know, despite never mixing in the same circles.

As Lola, I have three friends only, but lots of bloggers remain anonymous so there is little scope for increasing that number! :)

Gaining Back My Life said...

The comments on the "Number of Friends..." article are absolutely hilarious. Thanks for sharing. I don't have a Facebook account, but it sounds interesting!

Cammy said...

I guess I am kind of promiscuous as far as friending goes, I'll invite/accept anyone I have met in real life, or know very well via the web. I'll also invite/accept people I haven't met but that know people that I do know well, and am likely to meet in the future.

I have declined invites, though, if it's someone I've never met before. I've had quite a few invites from people that share my last name but am unrelated to, I don't confirm those. I have "friends" on Facebook that are people I knew and definitely did not like in high school, but it's more of a network thing than a real friendship ring, in my view.

I have "unfriended" people, also, if they send me all kinds of application invite spam stuff via Facebook.

Tiptoe said...

Thanks for your thoughts on how you "friend" on facebook. It's certainly different for everyone.

Lola, I've thought about the two account thing before, but I'm not really on there enough to justify it to me. Maybe in the future. Right now, I don't have too much security stuff on there, but then again, I think I'm just too lazy to set everything.

GBML, glad you liked the article.

Cammy, interesting that you have people you do not like as "friends." Not that that matters, since in the grand scheme of things, it is about networking for you.

Dr. Deb said...

I'm not a Facebooker or a Twitterer. I just do the blogger thing. I think I would never get off the computer if I began using the other social networking sites!!

Tiptoe said...

Deb, LOL. I think it's one reason why we keep seeing so many different social networks and the like popping up. It is to become submerged into any of these sites.