Facebook Friends:130 But Who’s Counting?

Facebook is counting. So are millions of others who see accumulating the most Facebook friends as a competitive sport.

I read that Lady Gaga has over 10 million friends on Facebook and is the current world record holder (fan page category).

The FB friend limit for a personal page is 5000. People are in an uproar! That just isn’t enough friends. Really? Once you hit 500o, you either have to begin deleting friends or adding a fan page.

Facts according to Facebook’s Press Room:

  • More than 500 million active users
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook

The average user has 130 friends. I’m such an under-achiever! When I lived in Oregon, I loved walking on the beach, collecting agates and jasper and sand-dollars. It never occurred to me to spend my time collecting friends, although I made some dear ones there.

I have a very small family. My kids aren’t on Facebook. They tweet on Twitter. I don’t really get Twitter, but I do read their tweets. Many of my closest friends don’t have Facebook accounts. Imagine!

Counting my 5 family members who are on Facebook, I have 34 FB friends. I added 3 and subtracted 7 this week for a net loss of 4. I’m sure the 7 I cut won’t notice. They never post and never comment when I do. They’re nice people. We just don’t have a connection anymore.

I may very well have the fewest number of FB friends of anyone who looks at Facebook regularly. Adding 3 friends in a week is unprecedented for me. That’s what got me thinking tonight about my FB friend criteria.

Most who know me probably wouldn’t describe me as being shy. But, like my non-Facebooking daughter, I’m exceptionally private. I’m so private that all my Facebook privacy settings are Friends only. I’m so private that, until yesterday, my entire FB profile, which is private, was all but blank. 🙂

There are always studies being done about the impact of Social Media. This is an interesting link that supplies more interesting links: Facebook “friends”? The impact of social media trends on depression and self-confidence.

I can’t fathom how vastly social media affects our every day lives. It’s a brave new world. My Psychology degree is 30 years old. The Intro to Computer Science course I took consisted entirely of writing code: Basic, Basic Plus and Four Trand; which by the way, I was really bad at. I was dating a pre-med major who spent a lot of hours in the lab with me or I would never have figured out my syntax errors. The computer main-frame took up an entire room.

This may be key in explaining my Facebook issues. My definition of friend is just as archaic as my computer background. Maybe if the Facebook category was called:

Acquaintances

or

You’re One Of The Thousands of Fascinating People I Don’t Know

… maybe then I’d be inclined to say yes more often when a FB invitation pops up.

I have made compromises: I’m FB friends with C.S.Lewis who died when I was 7 . The criteria to be his FB friend is: you must have a personal relationship with this individual to be his friend on Facebook. And, I’m  friends with Facebook. I don’t know why? That’s kind of like being friends with The Borg. I may un-friend Facebook.

Other social networks use less intimate terminology to represent contacts: LinkedIn has connections, Twitter has followers, but Facebook changed the word friend from a noun into a new kind of verb.

Looking over my list tonight, most of the people who are my Facebook friends are people I’ve cried with. I’ve laughed with so many people. I’ve cried with a few. This isn’t a criteria that would work for most, especially those going for the 5000 club.

It works for me. It’s more than semantics. My Facebook posts are rarely revealing, but when they are, all 34 of my friends care.

Friendship is a sheltering tree.  ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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List Your Top 10 by Heidi

February 21, 2011 by Heidi (picture is Heidi playing w/chicken’s on Grandma’s farm)

Work at the oil gate has been slow, so I’m sorting. I must have always liked lists. The other day when I was cleaning out my backpacks full of journals I found a list that my grandma had “translated” for me on the back of a magazine ad. There were some wiggly lines and drawings, then Grandma’s handwriting.

Grandma kept everything. (She had a handy stack of note paper under the lamp on the kitchen table. It was years before I understood people meant something else entirely when they talked about note paper. Hers was torn blank corners of ads, newspapers, envelopes.) Here is the list I found:

Things I Love:

  1. cows
  2. baby chicks

Pretty concise. Very accurate. I stayed at Grandmas farm sometimes for a week at a time. My favorite things were, as mentioned, and if it were really cold in the spring when the chicks hatched she brought them inside and placed them in a box with a blanket behind the wood cook stove, which was located handily beside my favorite step, explained in an earlier post: Steps.

I progressed to writing my own lists that don’t need translation. For instance, I used to play school and I had a list of all the kids I knew and loved- or not. I gave grades to them based on how I saw their class performance. If they were nice, they got good grades, If they were indifferent, they got the average C and if they were mean to me, they flunked. Again, easy.

I started keeping some lists all year. Christmas list ideas, for instance. I’d keep one in my billfold and add to it constantly. The trick was coming up with something uniquely suited to each person, meaningful, but costing very little. I never had much money and I’m not one of those handy people that can make things out of wood or cloth or beads. I’m scared of a glue gun! (Just give me back my .22, please Galen!) Below is a picture of the work from my .22 and those of my best friends at Mama Sue’s farm.

Evidence of the "gang"

I work with words. I make lists.

When phones got smarter than people, I started keeping lists in them. I use the recording sometimes for random things like article ideas or things to tell my mom. I use shopping list applications for my groceries and supplies. That works so much better than the scraps of paper I grew up using. You know from experience what happens to odd pieces of paper just as well as I do!

Not all technology has improved the use of lists, however. I have noticed a little bit of competitive spirit in people and their Facebook or Twitter lists. Some people seem to have befriended the universe! I realize these are not really friends, but if not, then why would I want to communicate with them every day? It’s not for me. I have around 30 friends on my list and I really care a lot about each of them or they’d be off the list.

The other thing about lists on Facebook is that you can group your people into lists and categorically determine who is your “Best Friend” kind of friend and who is not. Competitive friending, I’m not into.

Here’s a current list: things I don’t give time or energy to now that I’m almost 60

SO OVER IT

  1. Makeup
  2. Regret
  3. Bad relationships
  4. “Live” TV
  5. Guilt
  6. Boring books
  7. Nail polish
  8. Pleasantries
  9. Worry
  10. Competition

How about your top 10? Share a top 10 list of anything with me. I still like lists. I’d love to see yours. That’s a challenge!