There’s a terrific article by Scott Brown in the November issue of Wired Magazine titled, “I’ll Be There 4 U”.
Thanks to Facebook, I never lose touch with anyone. And that, my Friend, is a problem…we’ve lost our right to lose touch….We scrawl “Friends Forever” in yearbooks, but we quietly realize, with relief, that some bonds are meant to be shed, like snakeskin or a Showtime subscription. It’s nature’s way of allowing you to change, adapt, evolve, or devolve as you wish—and freeing you from the exhaustion of multifront friend maintenance. Fine, you can “Remove Friend,” but what kind of asshole actually does that? Deletion is scary—and, we’re told, unnecessary in the Petabyte Age. That’s what made good old-fashioned losing touch so wonderful—friendships, like long-forgotten photos and mixtapes, would distort and slowly whistle into oblivion, quite naturally, nothing personal. It was sweet and sad and, though you’d rarely admit it, necessary.
It builds on a post I wrote back in May, “Rejection: Painful But Inevitable on Facebook and LinkedIn”. In this post, I asked:
When will we become liberated enough to say, ‘I’m respectfully declining your friendship’ or ‘Thanks for the invite, but I don’t want to include you in my LinkedIn professional constellation of contacts’? I surmise the time is closer than you might think. We’re all getting inundated with inputs and feeds and grasping for simplicity in our daily lives. Less will become more in the world of social media and our friendships and contacts will be culled to represent only the people we like, respect and value. My parting words of wisdom…liberate yourself by creating micro-community friendships and business contacts today.
It is a curious question — how does one curate friendships online? How to intuitively know when it’s time to say, ‘Hello!’ and also when it’s time to fade to black.
I’d love to continue the dialogue here. What do you think?