The cull

Posted on 21/03/2010

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(What I did last Sunday and why I regret it.)

How many friends do you have on Facebook? Too many? I was reading Katy Lindeman’s post on digital etiquette and I got to wondering if I shouldn’t make my Facebook circle a bit more selective. How many of these people am I actually friend with? How many of them do I remember speaking to in the last year?

So I culled them. Depending on when I last saw them and how much fun they were, I weeded out the weakest. Probably should have checked that Facebook doesn’t send out a “you’ve just been deleted by…” mail every time this happens.

Aside from one or two wrong’uns that I should have deleted years ago, I regret this. For two reasons:

1) Making your world smaller it’s the variety that keeps it interesting. Social media works because we’re all curious about what other people do and think. I’ve come across so many “finds” (websites, videos, time wasters) from people I barely know. Reducing the number of people you can view online removes this serendipity from your life. And that’s a shame.

2) There’s more to this than missing great YouTube videos. If you want to build a functioning online community, it’s got to mirror the real world. We don’t go lynching people in our local community just because we don’t like them (or at least not where I live). Society takes all types and they’re all equally valid, even if some seem better than others. We need these people for what(ever) they contribute, and for their connections.

Apologies to everyone I deleted. If our paths ever do cross, I will send a most heartfelt apology along with my friend request. Until then, I’m not going to tackle the social stigma of having deleted you. Lets just see if you notice…

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Posted in: Digital