Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another New York Times Article about Facebook

Are 5,001 Facebook Friends One Too Many appeared in today's New York Times Sunday Styles section. Regular readers of Bruce's Journal know that I have commented on Facebook several times over the past few years. I have to make some comments on this article written by Aimee Lee Ball.

She quotes Roger Fransecky, a clinical psychologist, who states that "friending sustains an illusion (emphasis is mine) of closeness in a complex world of continuous partial attention." Can someone be friends with 5,000 people? The terms connections and followers used by LinkedIn and Twitter, respectively seem to be more accurate terms.

Ball states that Facebook discourages adding strangers as friends. As of today I have 378 friends, but how many are real friends? Many are friends of friends whom I have never met. I have established some good electronic relationships with some people that I will likely never encounter in real life. I would recommend that all Facebook members be careful about their privacy settings. On the other hand you may also offend people that you refuse to friend or unfriend.

There are more important things in this world than Facebook :)

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