Tuesday, February 24, 2009

9 Types of Facebook Friends

Explored in the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday. They include:

The Facebook Superfan who "clogs your newsfeed with multiple daily updates about his bandwagon jumping: John Doe became a fan of Lil' Wayne! ... John Doe became a fan of Watchmen! ... John Doe became a fan of Captain C.B. "Sully" Sullenberger!"


The Friend addict who "Even though this Facebooker only knows 47 people, he/she managed to accumulate 786 friends - mostly by going through other people's profiles and friending perfect strangers."

The article didn't catch my type - The Shameless Self-Promoter - Fills your news feed with links to every insignificant blog post and article he writes in the quest for more hits.

A lot of this is funny, but the article's central insight is the author's comparison of social networking to 11th grade, "There are fewer people wearing Depeche Mode T-shirts and more people sharing random things about themselves, and my locker combination has been replaced with a password. But the sting of rejection, the sanctimony of the popular kids, dressing up for picture day and even the random chatter in the hallways is pretty much exactly the same."

There is another type not mentioned which is becoming more common - The Reluctant Facebooker - People who are perfectly adept at normal forms of communication who because of societal pressure think they have to get a facebook account. These people are generally my parents age and their feeling is typified by an email I got yesterday from an "actual" friend in California:

Hey Jack: I wanted to sign up as your friend (out of pity, of course) with Facebook. I went through all the craziness and somehow, I think, I got on something called a wall. . .
When you get time - will you explain Facebook to me so I don't feel so stupid.

After reading the Chronicle article, I feel like telling her that figuring out Facebook is just a portal to new avenues of feeling and being stupid.