Keeping It Real On Social Networking

I un-friended 50 people today and it feels good.

I applauded Twitter’s decision in July of 2007 to change “friend” to “follow”. It took one more falsehood out of the pile of lies that is the Internet.

I had to look at my Twitter followers and who I was following. I did the same with Facebook. I saw quite a few spammers, posers, users, and those who were a combination of all three.

A pic of how easy it is to fake friendship
figure 1. It’s easy to fake friends.

There was one person, who shall remain nameless, that really used me and hurt me. This person has managed to “friend” the top people in the Web 2.0 industry and has made it appear like s/he was the friend of all these top people thanks to carefully placed comments and strategic friending on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Upcoming.

Imagine my embarrassment when I showed up at a function with this person and my real friends revealed that they didn’t know this person at all.

Anyway, one of my goals is to keep my Twitter and Facebook connections real and I won’t hastily add “friends” anytime soon.

It’s a sad thing that nobody reads Book 8 of Aristotle’s Ethics anymore.

Here are two quotes that serve as a commentary of our age of easy friending:

“Those who quickly show the marks of friendship to each other wish to be friends, but are not friends unless they both are lovable and know the fact; for a wish for friendship may arise quickly, but friendship does not.”

“Those who are friends for the sake of utility part when the advantage is at an end; for they were lovers not of each other but of profit.”

And what am I going to do about it?

I’m planning on making a social network where it’s actually difficult to friend people. The idea is that you can’t be someone’s friend unless you complete a task that shows your friendship for someone and have that verified.





Let me know if you want to work on this project.