Today’s media publications, media savvy people and general public seem to be constantly in discussion of social media, in particular Facebook. Up to now this seems to have had no negative impact on us as individuals (with exception to the regret we feel after seeing photos posted by friends after a night out).
Social media encourages communication and media development, or so they say. I will never dismiss the positives of being able to contact my friends and family abroad, share photos and updates of our lives at the click of a mouse, but Facebook has another side to it too, a side we are all guilty of using.
When viewing a friend’s profile recently I couldn’t help but notice her extravagant number of friends, I believe this topped 800. This left me feeling Facebook turns us into a walking popularity contest some of the time, after all, who wants to view a profile with no messages or photos from friends? The more friends we have, the more active our profile will be.
Last week my cousin and her boyfriend emigrated to Australia, and prior to their departure we had a conversation about this ‘popularity contest’. All of us admitted to regularly talking to a relatively small number of our ‘friends’ online, which led to the decision that they would be cutting down their friends to people they genuinely talked to or wanted to regularly, especially to keep people updated with their move.
At first I didn’t think this included me quite as much but after walking down the street a few days ago and spotting someone I went to school with, and realising neither of us had any intention of even saying hello, that is if he even recognised me, I realised I’d only added him as a ‘friend’ a few days earlier.
So without trying to sound too much like I’m campaigning for taking Facebook more seriously, consider how many friends you have and how many ‘friends’ you have before adding more purely to try and beat 800.