Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Facebook Friendships

Last night I was looking at my list of Facebook friends and wondering where they all came from. Right now my profile says that I have 544 Facebook friends. I have a whopping 38 followers on Twitter and an astounding 9 connections on LinkedIn. I have about 60 friends in circles at Google+.

Most of my Facebook friends I have actually met. That makes sense. It's actually odd that I have a great number of "friends" that I haven't met and many that I haven't seen in a very long time. Most of the "haven't seen in a very long time" friends are classmates or friends from my hometown of Chillicothe IL. Some are relatives or friends of the family.

How does one end up with so many friends that they haven't met?

For me, a lot of the "friends I've never met" have come from the Blogosphere. My blogging buddies come from all over. Most of them are in the US, but many are not. I do follow blogs of people that I know and have actually met, but I think I have more blogger friends that I haven't met--but would really like to meet. Maybe a world tour to meet by blogging friends would be cool. Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Indonesia, UAE, South Africa, England, Mexico, and even Iraq. Also the east and west coasts of the US as well as the southern states, the mountain states and the Midwest. And I might as well include Canada and visit the friends that we met while on vacation.

Several of my blog friends turned Facebook friends are no longer blogging. I think that Facebook has some how managed to siphon off the daily minutes once given to blogging and trashed them in the great time sucking black-hole of Facebook.

Many of my friends are Air traffic Controllers that I have met through my active days of working through NATCA. Some of my ATC friends I haven't actually met but we share many mutual friends and a common career.

And there are a great many friends that I have met through ministry activities, camps, preaching, conferences, etc. I have some friends that are friends at the recommendation of a mutual friend. We've never actually met and yet we are "friends" just the same.

With so many friends from so many sources, I was wondering...are there rules for what is acceptable when soliciting friends or (perhaps more importantly) when accepting or ignoring friendship requests?

For example:
I never solicit friendships from kids.  I don't even solicit friendships from the youth students that I teach. I get requests from kids that have been to camp or VBS or some other church function.  I generally accept these requests but don't usually subscribe to their updates.
As a general rule, I don't solicit friendships from women. I have women friends--family, classmates, churches, etc. Some of the blog friends are women. And I'm sure that some of them did receive a friend request from me, but not too many. Like I said, "As a general rule..."

So, what about you?
Any rules that you follow for friending or un-friending?
What about rules for commenting or subscribing to a friends status updates?
Any rules on messaging/chatting, etc.?

I would love to hear your feedback.

John <><


Amanda said...

I don't usually send a friend request to a person that is an acquaintance but if that person sends me a friend request, I'll accept it.

I really enjoy chatting with friends, both from the face-to-fact world and online ones, but I feel a little uncomfortable starting the chat because I often feel that they are busier people than me. I still do it though....:)

Anonymous said...

Here are my unwritten rules concerning Facebook:
I have limited the number of friends and family on Facebook due to the time needed/wanted to keep up with everyone's status, posts, etc.
I still prefer picking up a phone and calling my friends and family.
In this crazy world of electronics, people need to hear a friend's voice or a family member's voice rather than just a 'like' to their Facebook status or post.
With that being said, Facebook does have its merits. It is an easy communication tool to use for those far away folks you'd like to keep in touch with.
All in all, I enjoy an actual verbal conversation/chit chat, whether it be on the phone or in person.
Have a great day, John! I am sure I will speak with you soon.

Mike said...

I have a whole 20+ friends. I use facebook to follow my kids but they don't use it so much anymore. And if I get switched to that timeline crap I'm dumping it.

Bilbo said...

I usually don't solicit FB friends unless I already know they're interested, and I would never invite a child. I get a fair number of friend requests from "friends of friends," and will accept them if it looks like they might be people I'd like to know. I ignore friend requests from people I have no interest in maintaining contact with. I will generally accept friend requests from both men and women, although - as a rule, like you - I don't send friend requests to ladies unless we already have some other connection (through work or dance or whatever). And I occasionally cull my friend list to remove people I never hear from. Oh ... and my FB friend list includes one person who has since died, but her friends have all agreed to keep her on our lists as a way of keeping her in memory. A long and windy answer, but you DID ask...