Tuesday, January 05, 2010

247 Facebook friends

Meesha left this comment for me on Facebook: "I don't even know 247 people, even if I include the mailman and the guy who plows my driveway." (I trimmed it to 245 this morning.)
That got me thinking (a rare and dangerous occurrence, to be sure). Just how many of those two hundred forty-seven Facebook friends of mine do I really know, and why are they listed as my friends?
Let's break it down.
Of course, there are the relatives, both mine and Cliff's.
Then there are former co-workers.
Some are people I've known from Church.
Some are local acquaintances and neighbors.
I have a few friends of grandchildren on the list; if my oldest grandchildren won't come to Facebook, I'll watch their friends!
There are also people listed who went to school with my children.
All of these, I know (or knew) in real life.
I started blogging on AOL journals, and got to "know" a lot of my fellow J-Land buddies by reading about their lives. I've seen some lose a spouse; I've read about babies being born. I've seen romance blossom, then wither. All of that in J-land. Who needs soap operas? This is the real thing, baby!
AOL closed the door on journals and many people moved to Blogger; I had already been here for over a year, and had found new friends before I was joined by the J-land refugees. I found a list of Kansas City bloggers and added some of them to my "must-read" list.
I used to frequent three message boards ; I only keep up with one now, and that would be Tractor Tales. But there are people I've chatted with on all three with whom I still keep in touch.
I haven't met very many of these in real life, but many of them I've "known" for years on the 'Net.
And last is the group from the old AOL Christian chat room. They are Internet friends, but I've probably met at least 3/4 of them in person over the years. So they're real-life friends, too. Some of them would be right here if I needed them, believe it... even if they had to fly across the country. Now that I think of it, some of them are my best friends, reliable and true.
Oh, there's a handful of "friends of friends" who needed more neighbors in Farmville or Yoville and were added to my list; but those are few.
Now what's strange about this is that I don't have a lot of friends in real life. I was an only child for all intents and purposes, since my sister was married and gone when I was two years old. We lived in rural settings until I was twelve, and I learned to live in my mind and populate the world around me with imaginary people, animals and situations. I know there were relatives who felt sorry for me, not having any siblings to grow up with; but I can honestly say I was happy with my imaginings. To this day, I just don't need people around me the way most folks do; I have no problem with that, so don't pity me.
But on the Internet? I'll take all the friends I can get!


Sugar said...

i hear ya! when i first went to fb, i was being invited to be peoples friends right & left, like a fool accepting them all. then noticed i had a couple hundred in less than 2 wks! & only 'knew' a handful. plus my home pg was sooo full i couldn't keep track of anyone & since i don't play the games, home pg was bombarded with those. so, i carefully went thru my list,removing all i didn't know from blogs, or emails. then getting rid of all the apps (games). now i can keep up with all, making freq comments & etc. i'm determined to stay under 100. now, when people send me a request, i reply back "how do you know me, i only accept those i know", & usually they say "i don't, just thought i'd add you."
stay warm sweetie, it's c o l d out there!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

You are blessed to have so many friends for sure.

Hollie said...

I know exactly what you are talking about...especially the part about...."I just don't need people around me the way most folks do." I'm perfectly fine being by myself. I have lots of friends that CONSTANTLY need a friend around for this or that. That would absolutely get on my nerves. I don't like talking a whole lot especially not on the phone. Don't get me wrong I love my family & friends....I just don't constantly need someone up under me. I hope you understand what I'm trying say but don't really know how to put it in words.

Donna said...

Yes Hollie, you and I need our space. I gotcha.

madcobug said...

Well said. I knew just about everybody where we lived when I was a teen but have moved away since then and know very few people around here. Helen

Rosie said...

I know what you mean too. I was an only child in a rural location and so learnt To 'cope' and now actively enjoy the peace of being on my own!!

Midlife Mom said...

I don't mind being alone either, there is always something to do to keep me occupied.

Nick's surgery was this morning and went well. The vet found the bone chip and got it out. Amazing that something that small could cause so many problems! He is feeling pretty yucky this afternoon, wouldn't even eat an apple but is moving around some. We hope to go home tomorrow but it will depend on how he is in the morning.

Lori said...

I have 122 friends on FB, and like you, they are all over. A handful are family, another handful are former workmates, another handful are former schoolmates, and another handful are friends of friends for Yoville (which I am addicted to, thanks to you!), and MOST of my "friends" are from J-Land. I am one of the seven children, but the closest sibling is 6 years older than I am, and though I had nieces and nephews close to my age, I mostly lived in my mind and in my own imaginings, and even now I don't need many people around me. I think that's why I enjoy the internet so much -- I have some control over when I associate with others.

MissKris said...

I have 40 listed and all are people who really do mean something to me, either in real life or bloggy land. I've had a couple of people try to "Friend" me who I've never heard of before. I'm not even tempted to go that route because I barely have the time to keep up with those I do have...and I don't do that hot a job with them, even. Just like my blog...I 'visit' my favorites when I can. I try not to let the lack of time bother me...I know sometime in the not-too-distant future I'll have my quiet middle-aged life back again. 'Til then...I do what I can.

alphawoman said...

Sometime ago I was introduced to this "social networking" by one of the Smart Alecks I worked with at F. Wayne. I guess I am so spoiled by what we had at AOL-J-Land that it never has captured me so much. I hardly ever check it nor post on it, that is why I only have about 60 buddies. lol! But, I found a bunch of old High School friends and that was very cool.