January 31, 2006
I guess i'm not the only person who has spent time recently thinking about friendships. Dave Winer wrote an essay on the topic and several people have added to the discussion in the comments.
I actually had to "break up" with a friend this week. It seems so odd to use the term "break up," but i'm unfamiliar with a corresponding term for non-romantic relationships. Do people just assume that friendships last forever? It seems rude to just let them awkwardly dissolve into the past. Do most people not care enough to admit to the other person that they are not committed to keeping the relationship healthy?
I wonder if the definition of friend is changing. I think that people use the term too casually. When i poke around sites like Facebook, i see people with 500 confirmed friends. Is it mentally possible to care for that many people at once? Are social networking sites altering our concepts of personal relationships off-line as well?
Pardon my incomplete thoughts. Perhaps i can find the time to properly research this topic at some point.
Posted by Matthew at January 31, 2006 09:53 PM
My daughter frequently tells me that I need more friends. My reply is that I don't have enough time to treat the few good friends that I have well enough. 500? Doubt it.
Oh and speaking of rude, sorry for walking right past you while leaving the restaurant the other day. Not cool.
No hard feelings Jack. I just hope your meal was as finger-licking good as mine.
my thoughts are always incomplete, so don't worry. i have to say that i have almost 400 friends on facebook and clearly i don't care about all of them. but i also don't want to make them feel bad if i take them off my "friends" list. so i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place because i don't want people to think i actually know this many people because i don't but i don't want to push any potential real friends away by rejecting them as my cyber friend. blah. who cares? it's all make-believe anyway.
about the break up, if you feel it was right, then it was right. i wonder if its who i think it was.
You know Nikki, i wonder what happens when you remove someone from your Facebook list of friends. Do they get an e-mail notifying them that they have been chucked? What are the repercussions? I suppose those that reach out to you on Facebook that you feel obligated to acknowledge out of fear of being an ass rather than mutual admiration might fall into the "fan" category as described in that article i linked to. What are the potential consequences of keeping everyone else happy; when is it ok to be selfish with our attention?