It’s called Facebook, not Friendbook

23 Sep

Dear Losers,

 I feel like in college it’s a competition of how many friends you can have. I thought this would end in high school! It’s like an Easter egg hunt- whoever gathers the most friends in the quickest time is the coolest. Ready, set, GO!

It’s just weird because your number of Facebook friends are publicized on your page and people really make a big deal about it.

 But how many groups of CLOSE friends can you really have?  When did the need to have so many friends become such a big deal?

 Madison, 16

Dear Reader,

Sadly, I think it’s always been a big deal with the high school and college set, but Facebook made it an even bigger deal by putting a number on it.

You can’t take that number seriously. It should come with a warning.

Mia has 4,459 Friends*

*Friends include :

  • Creepy guys I’ve never met
  • People I met at a party and never saw again
  • Celebrities I will never meet
  • Everyone from my high school
  • All 900 cousins from my Irish-Catholic family
  • Actual friends that would recognize me on the street
  • My dog
  • My dog’s friends
  • and so on and so forth.

Would that qualifier make you feel better? Because for most who have THOUSANDS of friends, that’s what their friend count represents. I have never met someone who has said,

 “Join me and 3,000 of my closest friends to celebrate my 19th Birthday!”

That being said, I have never met Kim Kardashian.

Photo: buzznetwork

Personally, I have no idea what my friend count is. (I’m sure it’s low by modern standards.)Nor do I know the count of any of my friends.

(I’m sure it’s higher than mine. Bitches).

Then again, I may learn their friend count just to annoy them.

Only 2,500 friends, Molly? Well, make it 2,499. I can’t be seen with someone with such a low friend count. Sorry!

(Shrug, pivot, throw hands around shoulders of your more popular friends.)

Here are some tips from my years of Friend Politics that you might find helpful.

1. For a lot of people, more friends = more validation.

Look at me! I have ‘x’ amount of friends…I must be important, right?  RIGHT?! 

Look,  if  having a ridiculous amount of friends/acquaintances works for you and these friendships make you a better person, then rock on. Some people are really extroverted and are good at balancing a million friends.  But if you’re striving to make random acquaintances, I mean ‘friends’, for bragging rights and validation you’re probably wasting your time.

It all sounds completely overwhelming to me. When I was growing up, it was super cool to have a best friend to hang out with all the time, and share a Best Friends necklace with.

I can’t imagine what it’s like now. Instead of a split heart that says Best Friends, it must be a split heart that says

“1,032nd Friend”

Luckily, as you get older, the ‘friend’ obsession subsides for most people. You don’t need to have 1,000+ Facebook friends to feel validated. You have bigger things to worry about. Like paying rent. Or who owns a better house than you.

2. Everything is a competition, but it’s your choice to compete or not.

Everything can be turned into a competition these days -singing, stand-up, number of reality shows your family has, how much weight you can lose. It makes us feel the need to compete all the damn time, so that we can brag about it on Facebook, on our reality show, or on top of a Swiss Mountain with an alpenhorn.

I can eat more maggots than you! I can unroll the TP faster! I can make more Facebook friends in one hour!

Again, you choose to participate in this competitions or not. At least Fear Factor pays. What do you get from having more Facebook friends….except the validation of people who care how many Facebook friends you have?

While I am a big advocate of “the more the merrier,” this doesn’t necessarily apply to your friend count or maggots.

Photo: aceshowbiz.com

3. Just because someone has a million Facebook friends doesn’t mean they have a million friends.

Don’t let Facebook intimidate you.

When I make friends with someone really popular, I am often shocked to find they don’t necessarily have a ton of close friends. They just have more acquaintances than I do.

I too used to assume, if they have ten times the Facebook friends, then they have ten times the amount of friends! They surely don’t have time for me.

WRONG.

Soon, Miss Popular is asking me to hangout all the time. And I’m confused.

Wait, me? Your new friend? Don’t you have 7,000 other good friends you’d want to hang out with?

Miss Popular may be gregarious and know a lot of people. But she doesn’t necessarily hang out with these people or become BFFs with them. I made it to real friend status for a simple reason: we connected on a friend level!

So yeah, I just passed up like 12,000 of her other “friends.” No big deal. (Arrogant hair flip.)

If you haven’t experienced this yet, you will.

4. Popularity is relative. Extremely.

I had friends in college that would say,

Gosh, you just know EVERYONE! ( I didn’t.)

And then I had other friends to whom I’d say,

Gosh you just know EVERYONE! (They did. I swear.)

Either way, who cares? I like my friends for who they are, not for their popularity. I expect the same courtesy from them.

5. Close friends should count as 10 friends. And a best friend should count as  50.

I cherish my close friends.  They are what Megan and I call ‘Qualities’. Qualities are people you trust, who care about you and challenge you to be a better person. It’s great to have acquaintances, really. But are they going to keep you warm at night?

Photo: gawker.com

I’ve collected my “Qualities” over the years and I wouldn’t trade them in for a thousand more friends or acquaintances. Frankly, they pull the weight of a thousand normal friends, which is a great bargain if you ask me.

So if we go by the equation that close friends count as ten, and best friends count as 50, than I think I have you Facebook whores beat! I have the  friend equivalent of a Scrabble triple-word score. Top that!

Photo: bridgethelove.com

I mean, not like I’m competing or anything… 🙂

If you like this post, please link to it on your Facebook or Twitter account! Or add it to StumbleSupon or Digg. Thanks!

Related Posts:

Get a real life…and virtual ones don’t count

http://stopbeingaloser.org/2010/05/31/get-a-real-life…-and-virtual-one’s-don’t-count/   

Sometimes I just want to say home but my friends are always pressuring me to go out. Is it lame if I just sit it out? 

http://stopbeingaloser.org/2011/05/13/sometimes-i-just-want-to-stay-home-but-my-friends-are-always-pressuring-me-to-go-out-is-it-lame-if-i-just-sit-it-out/

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5 Responses to “It’s called Facebook, not Friendbook”

  1. T. J. P. September 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    I like the basic point conveyed in the title: Facebook, not Friendbook. Facebook is not an indicator of true friendship or a substitute for human interaction. It’s not inherently good or bad, but a tool that can be used for good or bad or something in between. Tools are not friends. Faces and profiles are not friends. A yearbook, for example, can be an important keepsake, but you don’t have a relationship with one.

  2. gojulesgo September 24, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    Great post! Nothing against Facebook (I love using it to see what people I care about are up to), but I can count on one hand my true friends, and I like it that way. 😉

  3. Stop Being a Loser September 24, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    So agreed! Thanks!

  4. John December 15, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    I know people with thousands of facebook friends and they are some of the biggest jerks I know.

  5. Loser 2.0 December 15, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    Yeah, there is often a strong correlation between number of Facebook friends and jerkdom.

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