Computer Culture

Today is National UnFriend Day

As of the first National UnFriend Day, I have 1570 friends. Please don’t unfriend me! Just kidding, although, I am trying to hit 5000. Of course, I can do some cleaning up of my list, but I’m no where near the limit, and there is very little overhead for having too many friends. I mean, facebook doesn’t even show 80% of the friends in my newsfeed for whatever reason.

There are a few celebrities, like Dan Kimball or Benjamin Dunn, who have 5000 friends (of which I made the cut… whew!). Perhaps, there’s only a handful that I know with over 2000, the majority of the people with less than 1000.

Now what is my approach to accruing friends on FB? Well, if I meet someone and I find them interesting (which most people are), I will be willing to be friends on FB. If it’s someone who I know I want to do something important with, I’ll be more aggressive in my pursuit of friendship. I do not friend people I’ve never met before, and I have 44 requests in my box to prove it. Regardless, I do meet a lot of people. I always saw it as being efficient with my time (I like to cut to the chase). Formalities are boring; let’s get to the stuff that matters.

Like Jimmy Kimmel, many don’t like the idea of being friends with people who aren’t actually friends, because “not even Oprah has 800 friends.” This BBC article says that each person, after all, has an average of 150 at one time.

Are people really insecure in their deep and meaningful relationships, that they find technology to be a threat to real friendship? I mean, Facebook is a means, not and ends for relationship. People just need to learn how to use it, instead of being used by it. Let’s value function over fashion.

Recently, a friend posted on his wall: “facebook gives the illusion of being in fellowship. Can fellowship / friendship be virtual?”

To which I respond: “if someone was blind, deaf, and mute… would they be incapable of fellowship/friendship?”

I mean, a person who was blind, deaf, and mute could, still Facebook, and in that situation, it’d be an obvious asset to a relationship. To me, saying that Facebook will render friendship meaningless (as Kimmel joked) is like saying nail guns will give all people weak arms.

If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been wanting a good opportunity to write about this. Thank goodness there are celebrities, like Jimmy Kimmel, to bring these issues to the limelight so timely.

In any case, I use Facebook as a dynamic address book. Each person I’ve friended, I found interesting, which may be strategically advantageous in ways that I’ve yet to discover; however, when that time comes, I’ll be able to find these people. As for only having 150 at one time, well, then I choose to swap out my 150 every once in a while, so there are more people I get to care about, people that I’ll have the privilege to love. Technically, I could have a new 150 friends every hour, if I give up my previous 150.

Enough complaining though, I mean our world is disconnected as it is. I don’t blame technology, I blame fear. Instead of complaining about it, I have a semi-solution: Someone famous should endorse “National Call All the Numbers in Your Phone Day.”

This way you can delete all the numbers that don’t match up with the people that your phone tells you they match up with, and, perhaps, say hello to some people you’ve been meaning to, but had no “real” reason.

2 thoughts on “Today is National UnFriend Day

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