Thursday, 12 May 2016

Online friendship

A post I just made on Facebook:

Dear friends.
Over the past few weeks, I've been realising that I've been spending way too long on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
Part of the reason for this is because of all the time I put into "friendships".
I thought I could reduce my number of Facebook friends from over 1,000 to 150 in one go, but after 3 go's last night I am at 473 friends.
The 150 comes from one of Malcolm Gladwell's books where he says that it is impossible to have a true relationship with more than 150 people. For example a "company" in the army is usually 150 people for this reason.
Well maybe 150 was the optimal number when the book was written or when personal relationships required physical presence and time.
This is the 21st Century and who knows, maybe things have changed? Maybe 500 is workable now. And especially bearing in mind the approximately 8,000 contacts I still have in total on all my networks.
But on Facebook I want to have my real friends, the people I share personal stuff with, whilst my other networks can be business.
I know that for me the lines between business and personal are blurred. My life is my work. But I don't live to work. And I don't work to live. I have "become". And I do tend to share personal stuff at work, so who knows what I'm really saying here? Perhaps just that I want to put more time into fewer friends.
So I'm happy to be under 500 on Facebook.
I'll see how this works out and then if necessary I'll go through the reduction process again.
I only want to be friends with people who interact with me. Not just because you are my family or my cousin or my friend from school, who perhaps I talk to once a year or see at parties.
So if you want to unfriend me because you feel that "I'm not contributing to our relationship" then that's ok with me.