Thursday, January 15, 2009

Random Thought: Facebook Friends and Photos

So I was talking (or really more like arguing) with H the other day about Facebook friends.  It seems that he is losing Facebook friends left and right, for no apparent reason - and he is noticing because he monitors his number of friends.  Personally, I don't monitor the number of friends I have - I just know it is over 1,234 because GWCharlie pointed it out when I was at 1,233 - urging me to get to 1-2-3-4.  I just checked ... I have 1,325 friends (I'll check again tomorrow and let you know what the number is).

Anyway ... back to H ... He wonders why all these people are de-friending him or deactivating their accounts (he loses about a friend per day).  I thought that was a bunch of hogwash (I've never used that term, but it seems fun), and said that I thought it was just Facebook being stupid.  Back in the old days - when it was theFacebook (If you don't remember that, you suck) - I used to monitor my friend number ... and it used to fluctuate.  It would never constantly lose people - but it moved around, and I always just thought it was because Facebook had trouble counting.  Thinking about it H's hypothesis really makes more sense, but I insisted that I was correct.

Then he started accusing me of not knowing all 1,325 of my friends - and I conceded that I probably would only say hello to and/or have a conversation with about 1,100 of them (maybe 1,000 at the very least).  And of those other 300-400,  I would probably at least nod hello to half of them ... so that leaves 200 people that I really don't even know.  I generally have a strict rule about not friending people I don't really know, but even the best of rules gets broken now and again (apparently I broke my own rule quite frequently).  H suggested I go through my friends and clear out the people I don't know - something that seemed unnecessarily time consuming to me.

So I came up with the greatest idea ... I am also sending it to Facebook as a suggestion.  I personally think that all of us could use a friend purge from time to time, just because there are people who you add who you really don't know.  I think Facebook should prompt you - on the two year anniversary of a friendship - to find out if you are still friends with someone?  Just a simple "Do you know who X is?" and a button to "Remain Facebook Friends" or "Remove Facebook Friend".   I would assume that somewhere in Facebook's code is planted the date that we all became friends with each other - and if not, they can add it effective the implementation of the feature.  With all previous friends they could start a rolling-friend check ... and have it go through and check all your non-dated friends, slowly (to not overwhelm you all at once).

Thoughts?  I personally think its a great idea.

Along those lines it should be noted - I am going to spread some knowledge about Facebook customs.  If you know someone, and have interacted with them - you should remain friends.  
* If myself and Mr. X were grave enemies - we should be Facebook friends, we know each other and have dealt with each other.  
* If myself and Mrs. Y were once really good friends but had a falling out - we should still be Facebook friends, we knew each other for a long time and clearly had a friendship.  
* If myself and Mr. T went to high school with each other and would recognize each other on the street - we should be Facebook friends.

I have learned that some people just don't understand the concept of Facebook friends ... so I am here to teach you all.

So you might ask ... if I have such strict rules about how people who don't know eachother that well should remain friends - what purpose does this feature have?  Well, once in a while you meet people at a party, or online, or a friend of a friend - who after two years you realize that you don't really know this person, wouldn't say hi on the streets, and probably shouldn't be Facebook friends.  That is where this feature would come in handy.

Also ... I would like to touch on the issue of Facebook pictures.  This is an issue of great contention between me and the rest of the world.  And it probably has to do with my confused/distorted reality of the world and Facebook...  But to me, Facebook is a representation of you created by you and assisted by the world - this isn't a yearbook, everything isn't perfect.  I'm sure most people would agree with that.  And while I certainly frown upon it, I understand if you don't allow anyone to see pictures that are tagged of you.  But what I don't understand is people who de-tag pictures that they deem are unattractive, or unbecoming.

The purpose of tagging a picture is to show you - if you are in the picture, no matter how ridiculous you look - you should be tagged.  Done and done.  Everyone has bad pictures taken of them ... it is a fact, it happens, people understand.  If someone is Facebook stalking you and sees 15 bad pictures out of 100 - they aren't going to think about the bad ones - they are going to think about all of them.   Yet if I stalk someone who only has the most perfect pictures of them up, I wonder what is wrong with them.  Are they insecure?  Do they have a distorted reality of the world?  Clearly something is wrong that they seem to find the need to only portray themselves in an unrealistic, perfect light.

I realize I am in minority on this one ... and have stopped fighting with my friends over it - but I seek to start a change.  Join with me, leave a comment on this thread and take the pledge ... take the pledge to stop de-tagging pictures of yourself in Facebook picture - people deserve to see the real you.

America.  Out.


{ A N G E } said...

I think people were getting "defriended" because Burger King was running some campaign about if you defriend 5 people you get a free Big Mac...

Tim S said...

Yea i knew about that contest ... I hadn't thought about that.


Patchus said...

That is true, but Facebook forced BK to stop because Burger King informed people they were being defriended; which goes against their privacy policy