My wife has a way of really getting to the meat of an issue. Maybe it was my own influence but I resisted Facebook like the plague after having been pushed onto MySpace and regretting that. However as the Facebook story played out, I felt more comfortable with the platform and eventually my dear sweet wife joined me in cyber land. In a strange turn of irony, she didn’t join Facebook until far after we had exchanged nuptials; when she finally did join the Facebook land and declared her relationship status we got all kinds of congratulations from friends. Some of them were obviously sarcastic (because these friends were at our wedding) but some of them were genuine; this event may even be the genesis of this latest Facebook fiasco. My wife made the declaration to me this morning that she was going to make an effort to communicate with three different Facebook friends each day (in addition to her usual Facebook dealings) and if she didn’t have anything to talk about with these people, they would be excluded from her friends list. My wife made the clever turn of phrase, “Are these friends true Facebook friends? Or is it Fakebook?”
My wife’s declaration raises an interesting point; how many of our Facebook friends are truly friends? Yes we may have some acquaintances on Facebook and we may have some distant relatives on Facebook, but I wonder how many of these friends are truly Facebook friend worthy? While it may be prudent to keep all of your Facebook friends that you get along with, for the simple reason that you’ll never know when you may find occasion to reconnect with them, the Facebook vs. Fakebook argument is one worthy of further scrutiny.
Yes you’ll probably want to keep your Facebook friends who are family online for the simple reason that communicating about ill uncle Lester or the birth of little cousin Trisha is easiest done in a group fashion on the Facebook messenger service, but what of the rest? Facebook vs. Fakebook? How many of your friends online are truly people you would consider friends? Should there be different levels of access for “close” Facebook friends and general Facebook acquaintances? Does anyone even check anymore if they even know the people they connect with?
I met one guy who is a Facebook friend of mine from a completely random message board and we probably communicate with each other more than most of my Facebook friends. People who I consider to be true friends in real life. We just don’t always have a lot to talk about online so we exist together; floating around cyber-space as listed Facebook friends.
Whatever your decision about Facebook vs. Fakebook it’s a good idea to keep your friendships pure. There are a couple of people who friend request me quite often and I always ignore them just because the volatile way in which I knew them in real life makes me consider them not really friends at all. In the end it’s up to the individual but as the Facebook vs. Fakebook discussion rages on, it’s vital that everyone on Facebook keeps the platform pure enough; before it devolves into the barren cyber wasteland of minstrel musicians and porn that MySpace has become.