A couple of days ago I decided to clean out my friends list on several sites, most notably the scourge of all evil, FaceBook. It’s funny how you collect friends on the internet over time. In real life, friends tend to come and go, all they leave behind is their impression, and maybe a possession or two. Online, that branding of friend sticks until you somehow retroactively unbrand that branding.
There’s got to be a better way to say this, but I’m going to stick with it.
Real life friendships are things that can slowly fade away, but online ones are binary. It’s either got a value of 1 or 0, yes or no, on or off, friend or stranger. Okay, there’s a third option, blocked, the online equivalent of murder.
Okay, maybe not murder, but you’re basically completely eradicating their existence from your perception, especially on something like FaceBook, where their page isn’t even viewable anymore. Although from their point of view, your page is gone too. So maybe from their point of view, blocking them means you’ve committed suicide?
In any case, since this on/off switch value of friendships doesn’t automatically detect your watered down friendships, I went through my list of old friendships wielding The Scimitar of Unfriending to decapitate the unfriends still mixed in with the actual friends.
It was a refreshing experience. People died, disappeared, and all the fresh cool people were left behind. Then I swiftly declared my victory on this matter, which was met with much rejoicing. It even got 7 (seven) whole likes.
Except that wasn’t even the end of it.
The next step was to contact the people I feel like I haven’t really talked to recently but wanted to keep around. For me, this is the hard part. For a small amount of people, this will sound odd since I keep talking to you people through personal messages and over Skype, but I generally don’t contact people that intimately. Despite most of my output is actually done that intimately through personal messages and Skype chats.
Wait, what? How does that even work?
Easy, I have a small select group I always talk to. Maybe three people, never more than just those.
So both yesterday and today, I went on a mass messaging spree. Not that I sent one single mass message to everyone, that’d be terrible. Instead I went out and sent a whole wave of private messages of FaceBook to people I’ve lost contact with over time. Today I continued that. The few people I know the e-mail addresses of, I’ve done the same.
Although I’m not done yet, there’s still a good handful of people I need to send messages to. People I want to get to know better.
The reward so far has been incredible. Most people have already gotten back to me with their own messages and e-mails.
I guess this is my turn to just say that every single one of you is awesome.
I’m happy to have people like you amongst my friends.