Thursday, November 18, 2010

national defriend day came and went?

national defriend day was yesterday. created by jimmy kimmel, the day was "an opportunity for Facebook "junkies" to comb through their list of so-called "friends" and weed out the ones that really aren't "true" friends (i.e. acquaintances you hardly know and old classmates you really don't give a crap about.)"

it's funny because, sure, we all have people on facebook that we're not really "friends" with--but we also all define friendship differently. some people LIKE have people on facebook that they don't really know or have a close relationship with. some people use facebook for work and so they don't really use it as a friendship conduit.

here's the thing--you know who your "real friends" are. we all do. but is there really something wrong with being updated about people's lives? what's really that bad about knowing what your grade five best friend is doing now? yeah, you might not want to visit them on christmas day or go to their birthday but knowing something about another human is never a bad thing.

of course facebook is annoying, but i actually like finding people i didn't stay in touch with. i like finding out that they have kids now, that they got their dream job, that they like to go to starbucks and post that as their update. because hey, starbucks makes them so happy they want to share that shit with the world and i'm alright with that.

is it supposed to be cool or better to be disdainful of connecting with people? like "ugh, i'm so sick of reading so and so's status updates about eating dinner or shopping!" well, if you really don't like it then you should delete them--or delete yourself from facebook. also, there are these things called "functions" on facebook, so you can HIDE people who have annoying updates a million times a day.

i've hidden probably ten different people on facebook. this means that i can look them up or communicate with them, but their BILLION status updates don't take over my news feed. and these aren't "non friends", i've hidden people that i've known forever, that i consider to be very close friends.

the point is that we control facebook, not the other way around. some people may have trouble deleting or disengaging with people on facebook who they don't like, don't want around, or have trouble with but that's not just a facebook problem. these people can't say no to anyone and they have people in their real lives that they have the exact same problems with.

if you don't give a shit about people, then don't have them on your facebook, but i don't really love this push to delete everyone who aren't best friends with because it's just silly. time, distance, and being lazy can get in the way of keeping in touch with people and sometimes it's nice to know what those people are up to and that even though you didn't stay "best friends"(whatever the hell that means) that they've thought about you over the years and they'd like to share a bit of their life with you. they just got a new puppy to go with their brand new baby? well that's nice. they're making pornography now? well, that's just great! they joined a cult? how interesting.

we don't discourage people from going to high school/postsecondary reunions because they didn't remain close with everyone else attending, so what's the big deal with having facebook friends you haven't seen in ten years?

i get that there are a lot of problems with facebook and, believe me, i have definitely deleted my share of people. national defriend day is funny in a way, and it's a great bit of media for jimmy kimmel, who could probably stop making his show tomorrow and noone would give a shit, but i think they could have been a bit more creative than just saying "defriend people who aren't your real friends."

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