Again on Facebook: The Friends List

This is another post about what I think about Facebook. Previously: this post of general thoughts.

I noticed that my intended use of the Friends List had changed this year. Now, on the surface, the List is exactly as it says it is; a list of friends made on Facebook. But you may or may not know about the extra functionality of creating groups of friends, that also extend to Chat (function of hiding from these groups of people).

In other words, the core purpose is to list out your friends, or more accurately, your personal connections (you will see why later).

But this isn’t the point. I want to focus on who makes up your Friends List, not how many.

Now, Facebook has default groups of friends by network. If you think about it, you make friends at high school (one network), at university (another network), and at each workplace you work at (yet more networks). It is fair to say, that the social nature of each environment is different. Hence (if you have one), the criteria of whether someone is your ‘friend’ or not differs between networks.

Using my criteria as an example, someone who graduated with me from high school (i.e. same Year 12 group) will have more chance of being my ‘friend’, than someone who I met once at uni. My previous criteria was that only people I associated with regularly were ‘friends’.

Obviously, the more social experiences one has, the more friends there should be. But from the example above, be aware of who you friend and what you share with them. I have found that there are people who you would want to ‘friend’ due to the value of a personal connection with them. But be aware, there are some statements that shouldn’t be made public, because there are people who do not deserve to know/care.

We can also extend this thinking to family members on your Friend List. There has been lots of debate about whether one should friend their parents/relatives. A general rule is if the relative lives overseas or is of similar age, then it is acceptable for them to be added. But for those that are older, some caution must be taken.

The lesson to take away from this, is to be careful who you ‘friend’ on Facebook. Unless you want to become a news story.

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