Friday, April 6, 2012

Friends, How Many of Us Have Them?

How many Facebook friends do you have?
How many Tweeps?
Some of you might remember that a couple of months ago I read the book ‘MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend. Ever since then I having been giving more thought to the dynamics of friendships and the type of relationships that I have with my friends.
Honestly, I think the term ‘friend’ is probably used a bit loosely nowadays. On Facebook, I have 380 ‘friends’. My ‘friends’ are a mix of family, work friends, real life friends, PINK friends, high school friends, and virtual friends. Within each of these sub groups are varying degrees of how close I am to each person in the specific group. For instance in my family group I have my immediate family, aunts, uncles and cousins, and then distant relatives.
When I first joined Facebook, I was very selective about who I accepted friend requests from. My sister would call me a Facebook Snob, and it was true. If I knew of someone in high school and we didn’t talk then, why would I want to be their Facebook friend 25 years later? Now I have loosened my friend requirements since I primarily use Facebook as marketing for my 3-Day Breast Cancer Walks. For the most part there aren’t any personal pictures of me or other friends, unless it’s something to do with me volunteering, training and walking in breast cancer awareness event. Every now and then I will allow someone to tag me in a picture (and I still reserve the final approval for that!).
As for Twitter…
I have 86 followers, which isn’t anything by Twitter follower standards. The main reason I joined Twitter was due to the 3-Day having a Twitter account (@the3day). This allowed me to follow each of the 14 3-Day walks, virtually cheer on the walkers and crew, and become more involved in the 3-Day community. And yes, I have a lot of Tweeps that I have no idea who they are, yet I feel like I know them in the virtual sense.
And then there are the blogs that I follow. Even though I follow over 70 blogs (I know, waaay too many!), there are only a handful that I look forward to reading on a daily basis. I feel like those bloggers are my ‘friends’ and I can’t wait to see what they will share next. (Maybe one day I’ll have hundreds of people following my blog too!)
Although I was kind of hard on the author of ‘MWF Seeking BFF’ with my initial thoughts, and what I thought was her pathetic and controlling search for a new BFF, the book helped me realize that I possibly take for granted my ‘meeting people’ skills (as she calls it). I guess some people have ‘it’ and some people don’t. For me, meeting people in person or via social media hasn’t been that difficult for me to do. I’ll just consider myself thankful and lucky for all of the ‘friends’ that I have!


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