Facebook recently gave us the opportunity to classify our friends as either “Acquaintances,” “Friends,” or “Close Friends.” I quickly took advantage of that and classified most of my high school classmates as “Acquaintances” (my apologies to anyone on that list who actually reads my blog – let me know who you are and I’ll reconsider). What that accomplished was a much cleaner news feed as I was no longer receiving updates from people to whom I haven’t spoken since 1979 (and to whom the phrase “to whom” is completely foreign)! Sure, we “friended” each other when that was the cool thing to do, but there is just no way I can fake being interested in the lives of their children, their church, or their job. I really should just purge the friends list rather than lowering their status to “Acquaintances.” On the other side of that coin is, which of my friends put ME in the “Acquaintances” list? You arrogant bastards!!!
I know many of them “Acquaintanced” me because many of them remember me as I was in high school. I was kind of nerdy, popular only with other nerds, and somewhat shy at times. I never became comfortable with the walk through the cafeteria when it was time to find a seat. I usually sat with the same group of people, and they all sat with their own groups of people. Now many of those “other” people have ended up on my friends list. I can’t imagine, 30 years later, that they suddenly care about what I have to say. I say if we are mutual “Acquaintances” (that’s the first time I spelled that word correctly without the benefit of spell check in this post!), that we just agree to part ways and unfriend each other. What do you say?
Let’s not forget the Facebook suggestion of people you may know. They keep suggesting I become friends with people just because other friends on my list are their friends! If you’re an “Acquaintance” and you’re friends with someone I really didn’t like in high school, and that person hasn’t friended me yet, chances are we will never be Facebook Acquaintances! The main example is Greg Fulton. He was a complete dick to me from the 7th grade on. Now I’m sure he’s matured since then, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Facebook has been suggesting I “friend” him for a few years now. Therefore, he has been on Facebook for a few years seeing the suggestion that he “friend” me. Neither of us has clicked the “add friend” button and we’re both okay with that! It’s much more honest to not friend someone you don’t like than it is to friend them just because everyone else has already friended them!
So who makes the “Friends” list? This list includes people I am genuinely interested in how their life is going. It also includes people who post shit that makes me laugh. The vast majority of my own postings are things that make me laugh, so I appreciate the effort on your part when you make me laugh. This list also includes my kids, my family, sometimes their spouses, and sometimes their friends. One of my proudest Facebook “friending” was when my son’s college roommate wanted to be my “friend” because he wanted to join in this game I was playing where you change one word in a movie or TV show to alter the meaning completely. Since that time, we haven’t commented on each other’s statuses, but he remains a “friend.” There are rules on how to remain my friend on Facebook. Actually, there are rules about what you can do to have me remove you from my news feed:
1. Post how much you love Jesus and how much you want me to love Jesus.
2. Post how much you love your spouse, kids, dogs, cats, etc. Let’s all stipulate that we love those things and not necessarily in that order.
3. Post everything that happens to you at every waking moment. That’s what Twitter is for and that’s why I’m not a fan of Twitter.
4. Request my assistance in Farmville, Castleville, Mafia Wars, Bullshitville (actually, I might help you with that one if it existed), or any other game you can think of.
5. Suggest friends I should add. I’m guessing you haven’t read the 2nd paragraph of this blog entry.
6. Tell me how much your life sucks because you have a cold, your job sucks, you can’t sleep (“why isn’t anyone online at 3 am?”), or your precious “Mittons the Cat” just puked on your new carpet!
7. Tell me about someone you know who needs our prayers.
8. Post about how 18 years ago you gave birth to the most wonderful being on the face of the earth.
9. Tell me about how 18 years ago you married the love of your life.
10. Tell me about what an asshole I am! (Actually, that might make you enter the “Fan” Zone)
I won’t move you to “Acquaintance” if you do any of the above once or twice. It’s the serial over-sharer who gets moved.
The final way to compartmentalize your friends list is to make people your “Close Friends.” I prefer to call these people my “Fans.” If I like you enough to make you a Close Friend, chances are that I see you so much in person that I don’t need to follow you on Facebook to find out what you’re doing. I tried this on a few people when Facebook made this available. What happened was, I was notified of every single thing this person did on Facebook! As close as we were, I really wasn’t that interested! So, I unchecked that box that made you my “Close Friend” and now we’re just “Friends.” I hope you’re okay with that. But you can still be my “Fan” if you want. I’m okay with that.