Who are my FB Friends (and how did I end up with 346)?

July 30, 2009

I was recently asked how I managed to accumulate 346 FB Friends in just seven months of membership. I found myself wondering the same thing. I certainly don’t know 346 people that I would truly categorize as friends, but we all know that on FB, the term Friend is used very loosely.

I know some people “collect” FB Friends for reasons that have nothing to do with actual friendship – for instance, I think that some games like Mob Wars may require competitors to be Friends. Not me – all of mine are people with whom I have a legitimate connection. In fact, I recently determined that there are less than a handful of people on the list that I haven’t actually met in person.

Since I joined Facebook, tracking down people from my past has evolved into a fun hobby. Not in a creepy stalky way, but because I actually do care about reconnecting and am fascinated by the process and the responses. I’ve had tremendous success in three areas:

  1. I’ve made some truly amazing re-connections with people I had completely lost contact with, and I have documented those in a separate Note (http://tinyurl.com/nb6pc8).
  2. In addition, I have had the distinct pleasure of developing real-life friendships with several people who I hardly knew or hadn’t even met before, solely on the basis of common interests or history or like-mindedness that was revealed through a FB connection.
  3. And finally, there’s the delightful aspect of getting to know so much more about acquaintances through FB-only phenomena like “25 Random Things”. I once attended a team-building exercise at work where work relationships were described using an iceberg analogy. We rarely get past what we can see above the water level – FB has changed that and I love it!

But this Note is about the original question – who are these Friends and why do I have so many of them? I keep them pretty well organized in Groups, and so I was able to quickly compile this categorical list (in descending order by number):

Dog Agility – 106
School (K-12 and College) – 75
Previous jobs – 39
Other Hobbies (Music, Football, Motorcycles) – 37
Echo Lakers – 30
Professional Colleagues (outside of work) – 28
Current job – 22
Family/Family Friends – 15

I realize it doesn’t quite add up – that’s because there are a handful on more than one list. Hope that answers the question!

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