Have you ever noticed that some of your friends on Facebook have about 500 ‘friends’? It sometimes looks as though people are engaged in a competition to somehow appear more popular. Facebook and similar sites can be a great tool for keeping in touch with people, but here are some reasons to prune your friends list if you find it getting out of hand.
1. Not Real Friends
How many people on your Facebook list are people you really like? It’s very easy to add people simply because they request it (for example, because you have a friend in common), but what does this actually achieve? Nobody has hundreds of friends in real life!
2. Being Nosy
Do you ever find yourself adding people simply because you want to find out what they’re up to? Of course, it works both ways, and people can add you because they want to snoop. Even if you have your profile private, they can read your comments on the page of mutual friends. So you have to be careful what you say – or maybe you should consider whether it’s time to reduce your friend’s list.
3. Close by
One of my friends asked me why I hadn’t accepted his friends request. My answer was that if he wanted to communicate with me, he could call me or meet up, since we live in the same city! Most of the people on my list are friends or family who live in different countries, so it’s a good way of keeping in touch with them. But I don’t see the point with someone who lives nearby.
4. Reduce News
The more people you add to Facebook, the more updates, comments and invites to Farmville you get. Eventually you have to scroll through a lengthy list, and even if you visit the site several times a day it takes half an hour to pick out anything of interest. Cutting down your ‘friends’ means a corresponding reduction in updates.
With the privacy (or not) of Facebook profiles being in the news, you have to be very careful about what you say, and who has access to it. Limiting the number of people who can view your profile and comments means that there is less chance of someone seeing something that you don’t want them to see.
6. Too Much Internet Time
Let’s face it, it’s very easy to spend a lot of time on the internet. How often do we think ‘I’ll just have a look at Facebook’? It’s one of those sites that encourages you to waste a lot of time (unlike this one, which is worth every minute). The more friends you have, the more time you waste.
7. Boring Updates
I’m sure I’ve done this as often as everyone else – posted some deeply uninteresting comment like ‘the cat’s just used the litter tray – OMG, the smell!!!’ Much of what we post is banal, and who really wants to read it?
So, who has the record for the largest number of Facebook friends?
Top Photo Credit: Paul RA