Random Thoughts of A Harlemite On Social Networking

I’ve been pondering the impact of social networking, Facebook and Twitter especially. As a member of both virtual communities, I can’t help but notice some things that strike me as strange.

Maybe I’m wrong, but there seem to be some whose main goal is to accumulate the largest amount of “Friends” as possible, regardless if those folks are actually friends, because in some circles this gives them some sort of cool points. Granted, the creators of both social networks came up with the term “Friend”, as deceptive as that can be, so the fault is theirs if anyone’s, but I think you know where I’m going. However, I can’t help but wonder what the psychological nuggets are beneath the surface of it all.

I’ve come across folks with over 1000 “Friends” on their Facebook page. 1000! That to me is rather mind-blowing. Outside of professional reasons — and even that to a point! — how on EARTH does one keep up with them?!? I’m approaching 200 “Friends” now, and I force myself to do a bit of spring cleaning now and again just to see if it’s necessary to remain someone’s “friend”. And let me tell you, I also take the time to ask myself if I’m wasting THEIR time asking for friendship (which I try and do only if I have good reason).

Don’t get me wrong here folks, I really enjoy both Facebook and Twitter (more than most!!!), and odds are I promote them both more than most, but for professional reasons. I also know there are some folks out there who simply have the gift of befriending folks — we called them “popular” in high school — and that’s fine too. My pondering is about the ones who are trying to make up for not being one of popular folks back in high school. Then things start getting a bit strange.

Just a random thought. 🙂

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