I wrote this on Facebook about a year ago, on the subject of the culling of one’s Facebook friend list……
Do other people feel guilty when they have a friend 'cull'? I don't mean deleting someone because they've done something to piss you off, but doing so because - well, just because?
Although I am a Leo, the zodiac sign of Virgo the List-Maker features strongly in my natal chart. Thus, whilst waiting for a friend to reply to a message, last night, I began to mentally sort my friends list into categories. These are my conclusions:
Facebook friends are:
1. Close friends and family, obviously, all of whom you would never delete, though if my sister tells me I look a twat on ONE MORE of my photos, I may have to reconsider.
2. People you haven't seen for YEARS, who you're really glad to have got in touch with again - usually you found them or they found you during those random late night searches you have after a few beers when you start looking up everyone you've ever known
3. Friends from whom you've recently moved away, and with whom you might not get round to staying in touch were it not for Facebook - what a useful tool it is!
4. People you have now got to know better than you knew them in Real Life; ie ex colleagues, friends of friends, all of whom log on quite often, and with whom you now exhange light witty banter - without this, you may never have spoken to them again, so it's all good.
5. Friends you've made on other websites - MySpace, obscure forums where you can exchange views on motorbikes or vampires or "The Stars of Dallas - where are they now?", or any other shit you happen to be into
6. People you've 'met' on here, usually added because you thought they sounded interesting/funny, or vice versa, and who've now become as much friends as your RL ones... sometimes more so.
7. People who are there for a reason; a old friend's daughter or mother or sister, or whatever; you may not communicate much but they're there because of the connection, as you presume you are for them, too. (or people who play games that you play...)
And now we come to categories 8 & 9
8. People of the opposite sex who have seen you on their friends' pages, and think you look like a bit of all right. First they poke. Then they send the request. Then they poke again. You cancel the poke, the little finger comes out again. No, Johnny Persistent, I am not going to add you. I don't know you. We haven't exchanged amusing comments on our mutual friend's status, so why would I want to add you? THIS IS NOT A DATING AGENCY!
9. And finally...... the pointless adds. You've known them at some point in your life; maybe you requested them or they you. It doesn't matter. Whoever they are, you've never communicated, since the day you became Facebook Friends. Not a 'like' on a status, not a photo comment, not a 'happy birthday', not a 'thank you for saying happy birthday to me’, not a suggestion that you meet up some time'. These are the candidates for the cull. I'm not saying this is a problem, I've been culled myself (though in my case I think I may sometimes get deleted because I write the word 'cunt' too often on my status updates). What amazes me, though, is when these people get offended by it! Several times, I've been asked, "why did you delete me?" BECAUSE WE'VE BEEN 'FRIENDS' ON HERE FOR 8 MONTHS AND YOU'VE NEVER SAID AS MUCH AS "HOW ARE YOU DOING?" THAT'S FINE - BUT CLEARLY WE HAVE NOTHING TO SAY TO EACH OTHER, SO WHY BOTHER? AND PLEASE, DON'T SEND ME ANOTHER FRIEND REQUEST NEXT TIME THAT LITTLE CHAP IN THE TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER REMINDS YOU THAT WE HAVE 24 MUTUAL FRIENDS!