Day 4 And you are?
I have (now had) 100 friends on Facebook. They came to me through various channels. Some I know now and see in the flesh, some I used to know and some I have never met. When I joined I envied people who had hundreds of friends, the badge of success to a newbie Facebooker. But it soon became clear looking at their newsfeeds that it was too much noise for me. So I decided to limit my friends to 100 a number I like, I’m fond of, I loved the 100 Club, and so 100 worked for me. When I got a new friend request that I wanted to accept I had to kick off someone from my list. Even with these limitations I still hid about half my friends’ posts, because I couldn’t put up with Farmville, or saccharin messages to dead friends or just dull posts about where they were and what they were eating. The ones I kept in view made me laugh, think and stay, perhaps stay too much.
Today I decided that I would try and recall the names of all 100 of my friends without reference to Facebook. Some came easily, some took a couple of hours and the fact that I reached 63 means that 37 remain unaccounted for, missing in action, presumed forgotten. So if you read this, you were my friend, and your name’s not there, feel free to take it personally or console yourself that I have a bad memory. I did some links on how I remember the friends being connected, but this is not a network map, it’s just a way of recording who came back to me and who didn’t after four days away.
Denying myself access to Facebook, a conduit to companionship remains an odd experience, in fact it grows stranger by the day, especially for dyed-in-the-wool hedonist like me, who always seeks the pleasure principle and denies myself nothing. The point of the memory exercise and pretty much the point of writing this record of leaving Facebook, I think, is to explore what friendship means, and how you access it.