What are your 999 Facebook Friends worth? Likely not much, to be honest

Most of my Facebook Friends have never interacted with me in any way at all. What kind of friendship is that?

It was 5.16am and I had been awake for all of 2 hours. Earlier on in the timeline of my insomnia this morning, I had put my phone down, closed my eyes and cuddled up in bed for long periods so I could go back to sleep – to no avail. And so I had picked up the Galaxy S9 Plus again. That led to me having a moment that got me wondering what the value of my Facebook Friends is. Here is the account.

While trying to burn time, I took to Facebook and began to scroll through. It was mindless scrolling. There was no goal. At 4.30am in the morning, what goal could one have scrolling thrpugh any social network?

Wait; stalking would be a valid goal. But I digress.

Anyway, I stumbled on my pending Friend Requests page and tapped on a certain random profile to have a look at it. The individual was a stranger to me.

The request had been there for months and I wondered what beautiful relationship I was possibly missing by not accepting it yet. That was when it hit me.

Facebook Friends

My Facebook Friends

I have over 1,000 FB Friends but there has not been a single interaction with over 900 of them in all the years I had been on the platform. No likes. No waves. No comment on posts. No hello in the Inbox. I call these “dormant” Facebook Friends.

In retrospect, I remember a period in which I set out to deliberately interact with a number of such FB Friends. I would comment on an update, like this and that, then send a message to initiate personal contact.

The results were appalling. In not one case did the interactions go any further. After the initial convo, winter sets in. And I hapoen to be a great conversationalist, so it isn’t me.

What possible beautiful relationship could I be missing in not accepting more Friend Requests?

What is the value of a Facebook Friend to me then? My honest answer is, Not much. And I will share why with you.

In my experience, the most active Friends are those that I have a connection with outside of Facebook. That connection may be work, family, or a social one. Once in a while, a connection with a total stranger grows, but the evidence I have is that we have a mutual interest e.g. technology.

In truth, most of my Facebook connections have been valueless. No interactions take place between us. No relationships have developed. Some of my Facebook Friends probably never see my status updates, and vice versa.

I have asked, Why connect with someone and not interact at all in some way?

Anyway, I now accept fewer Facebook Friend requests. Actually, I don’t accept most. Where interaction is my goal, I do not even have to be your Friend to interact with you. If interaction is the objective, a number of channels exist that do not require a Friend Request.

For example, I follow a few individuals for their stimulating writing prowess. Friendship is not necessary. I enjoy their writing and like and share when it strikes a cord. It is a mutually rewarding kind of connection. Yet Friendship is not involved.

Whether you have 999 or 2,000 Facebook Friends, what is the value to you? Perhaps your experience has been different from mine. Have you had greater success with nurturing new and real friendships via Facebook? If not, you are stuck in the same loop. Do share your thoughts on the subject.

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4 comments

  1. Well, the question is, how many ‘real life’ friends are REAL friends ?

    We may not realize the poignancy of this until you become a ‘friend in need’ at some point, then you would see just who your ‘true friends’ are and how many they are.

    Facebook has probably realized this by deprecating just how many ‘friends’ get to see your posts. This may not be more than 25, so your having 5000 or 1000 may be oncisequential anyway, in real terns..

    But then, digital marketing may take the shape of marketing products / services through Direct Messages to those Facebook friends. So, the numbers may matter after all…

  2. In terms of socialising, I agree that the bond of online friendship tend to dwindle when there is no evolving mutual interest. At times, someone might befriend you because you are both applying for the same PG school. You got in but they did not. Friendship expires.

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