You 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.