Facebook started my freshman year in college. I reluctantly joined after a friend made me join so he could “have more friends.” Immediately after signing up I realized that I looked pretty lame having only one friend and starting hounding my real life friends to join and be my digital friend. And from there it violently spiraled out of control. I started feeling like one of the crazies on the show ‘Hoarders: Buried Alive’ except I’m being crushed by status updates, mobile uploads and engagement announcements instead of envelopes from 1984.
Flash forward six years later. I have 1783 friends. I know. It’s absolutely ridiculous. While I am a social butterfly, my facebook was out of control and it was only getting worse. My friends ranged from people who I actually love and speak to regularly, to people that I drunkenly became best friends with (for one night) at a frat party. Then of course, friends of friends who had visited for the weekend, classmates, sorority sisters, coworkers, family members, people who went to my high school that I didn’t remember but felt bad rejecting, etc.
I debated whether or not it was mean to defriend people. Most times I decided that yes it was, but regardless I really did not want to have that many digital friends. In past generations, the people who were important to you were the ones who stayed in your mind and gave you life updates. While now, I know way too much information about people that I barely knew in the first place and whom I will ultimately never see again. And I’m sure these people know way more about me than I’m comfortable with.
I figured the only way to not make it a personal attack on anyone was to do one giant defriending. And I have to say, it felt amazing. Even though literally nothing has changed in my real life, I feel so free of so much excess baggage of my past.
Unfortunately, even after defriending 1000 people I still have 815 friends. Ideally, I’d like to have about 100 or so friends, but the world we live in is not perfect.
I guess I’ll just have to stop being so damn likable.