facebook friendsYou might not know this but Facebook has a friend limit. You are only able to accumulate 5,000 friends on Facebook. Publically they say this is because they want people to be Facebook friends with people they are actually friends with. But the reality is that they just didn’t have the infrastructure to deal with a number higher than that when they were first starting back in 2004. Now that I think of it I’ve been on Facebook since 2004. It is always funny to me when people mention just finding out about Facebook. Ha, anyway…

I have about 400 friends on Facebook. I would say well over half of those people are more or less just acquaintances.

The web 2.o (Twitter, blogs, Facebook, Myspace) world is an interesting one. People have “friends” who they wouldn’t even say hi to if they were alone in a room together. And believe me I’ve seen the way some Facebook “friends” interact with one another. It isn’t really friendship. We create these personas of who we are through these social networking tools and build up large friend lists to possibly impress others or even make ourselves feel better.

I love the power of all these tools but there is an obvious flip side to them. When I start finding my worth in how many friends I have on Facebook, how many people read my blog, follow my Twitter, etc…then I’ve really lost my way.

I wonder if the web 2.0 world has cheapened what it means to be a friend. Does it mean writing something on a persons wall every now and then, or following them on Twitter, or maybe even subscribing to their blog?…I sure hope it means a whole lot more than that.

All this to say, I hope Facebook keeps the friend limit. Maybe in some roundabout way that limit can actually force people to be friends with friends.

I thoroughly recommend checking out these posts by Adam and Mike. They share opposing viewpoints but both have well thought out reasons why.

What makes a friend in the web 2.0 world?

  • ash

    it used to be 1000~eesh. there is def. a difference b/c aquaintances, blog buddies, friends, twit watchers, cuzins and well, just next of kin. of course, i ‘m sure the word, “friend” is the most common way to lump everyone into a group of people that says, “all these blokes are allowed to look at my pictures and comment on my social space.” imagine if they put that on the “friend” box, might be more honest and hilarious, really!

  • Tyler

    I don’t have so much of a problem with the word “friend.” But if what some web 2.0 friends are supposed to be representative of friendship in today’s world I think we need to rethink it.

  • Yonas

    I’ve always thought of myself as unwanted…unworthy to be a friend….unpopular.

    Then, Ash added me as a friend.

    My world changes and I’ll never be the same.

    But seriously- Yes, my definition of the word ‘friend’ used to be very strict. Now…I still have a pretty high standard, but not as strict.

    (that’s not vague..right?)

  • janowen

    obviously it is harder to do life with people you have never met, but I have some people I have never met that feel very close – they are fellow believers who seem to genuinely care about me and even pray for me, regardless of the fact that we’ve never met. That’s so special to me.

  • ash

    well, there are different levels of friendship. i noted that before. i still think they should just label the 2.0 users “all these blokes are allowed to look at my pictures and comment on my social space.”

    but ya know…

    yonas, i’m so glad that i changed your life. keep it here on the “ash” station and i’m sure one day you’ll be overflowing w/ stuff to pass on to other chums as well! wink