I’m clearly a very ‘online’ person. I upload all my personal videos and photos publicly to a number of different places, have this blog, on which you can find out tons of information about me, and have worked to make myself ‘googlable’. As such, I currently have 672 friends on Facebook. I realize that’s not many at all, in comparison with other online personas, but it’s more ‘friends’ (rather, contacts) than I have on any other service, including Twitter. The problem with that is two-fold:
1. Facebook has become redundant – most of my ‘online’ friends use a service like Ping.FM to post their status updates to numerous places at once. Thus, my Twitter feed and Facebook status feed look awful similar, most of the time. This doesn’t help me at all, as I have to filter through the information twice.
2. Facebook has become cluttered – most of this is due to the awful new layout, but my Facebook is cluttered with people that I’ve met once, or in several cases, not ever met at all. Chances are, if I’ve never met someone in real life, then I met them online (duh), in which case I probably am already connected with them over Twitter or some other place.
Thus, I’m enacting a new rule for my Facebook account – you will only be listed as my ‘friend’ in Facebook if we’ve met in real life at least 2x. Why 2x? For one, because my buddy Stefan Constantinescu uses that metric, and I think it’s a good one. Also, it’s not quite possible to meet someone 2x in real life on accident, in most cases. The first meeting, definitely. Could be that you randomly met at a bar, or at an event, or whatever. It could be that a friend introduced you two, and the ‘polite’ thing to do (at the time) was to find each other on Facebook. However, those are chance encounters, and you aren’t quite what I’d call ‘friends’. Heck, you’re hardly even ‘acquaintances’. But 2x, well, usually the 2nd meeting was on purpose. Perhaps you had something interesting to talk about, or perhaps I just thought you were cool and sought to hang out again. Either way, it’s a more deliberate meeting.
If I remove you, please don’t take it personally. We can still be ‘contacts’ on any other online service, but I’m going to limit my Facebook by this 2x rule. It may start to suck, and I might end up adding everyone back, who knows.
What do you think? Is this a stupid idea, or do you see why it makes sense?