Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Facebook Cleansing

It's good for the online social soul.

With each passing wave of high schoolers accepted into college, adults wanting to be tech savvy and random guys from my hometown all trying to get into the social networking groove, I receive more friend requests on Facebook now than I did when I first signed on back in 2004.

Just yesterday, I got four. Two from guys I don't even know but apparently went to high school with, one older one younger, a girl who is now a senior in my high school and who I think is friends with my little sister but I've never met her, and one from my middle-aged/almost senior citizen neighbor who moved away two summers ago.

I didn't accept any of them. Today, one of the guys (the younger one from my high school) resubmitted his request to be my friend no less than five times. I finally blocked him.

I understand I'm going to get sarcastically ripped apart by Brandon and probably a few others in comments posts for writing about this because 'oh boo hoo me I'm so0o0o popular,' but really. Why friend someone you've never been actual friends with? Hell never talked to? And that got me thinking.

I started looking through the 823 "friends" I had on Facebook. Some were good friends, some were old friends, some were coworkers past and present, some were people I had worked in campus groups with. The rest I had no clue who they were.

Since I've been on Facebook, I have purged my Friend List of random "friends" twice and about a year and a half ago is when I stopped seeking out people to friend and stopped friending every person who friended me. Today, the number 823 seemed like dead weight on my profile and I thought, "Do really want these random people connected to me anymore?" I decided no, I didn't. I don't know who you are!!!

So began the "Remove Friend" process. If I didn't remember who you were - gone. If you randomly had a class with me one time, but we hadn't talked since that one group project - gone. If you and I had never had a conversation - gone.

Grand Friend List total now: 681, which means I removed 142 people.

Is that sad? A sign of the times? 681 friends is still an unreasonable number, but I had restrictions. I certainly don't chat it up with that many people regularly, but I can't de-friend my dad's real estate agent when he's getting the house appraised soon. Besides, you never know what might reconnect you. I suppose that's what the randomies thought too when they reached out to me but really, I'm just a random person to you too.


Erin said...

Agreed -- some people are just obsessed with having the most friends like it's some kind of competition (we both know people like this).

I'd rather not have random people seeing everything that I do.

Brandon said...
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Emily said...

I'm pleased to be on your friend list still! I think the cleansing idea is a good one. Unfortunately, I mostly notice people who I lose touch with on their birthdays, and I feel guilty "de-friending" them on their special day. Also one of my former bosses just friended me... It's quite a sticky situation!

Tad said...
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Kelvin Robinson said...

well i'm glad you didn't delete me yet leffron ;-)

i should prob do some facebook cleansing of my own.

Lauren Effron said...
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Lauren Effron said...

Yeah no kidding, Kelvin! Weren't you on a quest for 1,000 Facebook friends at one point?