Monday, April 12, 2010

Friends vs "Friends"

I currently have 1,430 "friends" and 23 pending "friend" requests on facebook. So ppl always ask this annoying question: "How do you have 1400 friends?" Allow me to clarify.
If I could, I would change the term "friend" as it is pornographically used
on fb, to "contacts." FB to me is nothing more than a multimedia addressbook.
Maybe its my connect-the-dotivity, but I naturally assumed the name "Facebook"
simply suggested "Blackbook" or "Addressbook," merely substituting the face. Fun
tangient, however my digress senses are tingling.

Well for starters, I've only been on facebook for 6 yrs. Remember when it was a sanctuary only for college students at a few universities? Until the floodgates bursteded open and fused all our networks together. Secondly, I once heard a statistic that the average 21 yr old knows at least 2,000 ppl of a first name/facial recognition basis. Now if that's true, I'm 29, and as you have undoubtedly gathered by now, love to chat.

Other contributing resumeic factors:
+I taught highschool students for 8 yrs, averaging 20-35 students a yr.
+I travel all over the northeast coast hosting workshops and lecturing at universities.
+I used to promote and host parties, and events all over New York City.

+I used to emcee and bboy, so I know a lot of artists and ppl in the music/dancing/entertainment industry.
+I'm a member/coach/advisor/leader/socializer with The National Society of Black Engineers, currently at 36,000+ members and have spoken in front of hundreds, sometimes thousands of ppl.
+I'm a conditioned networker. I'm not the person who comes to a dinner party and sits in a corner the whole night. I can start a conversation with a lamp post if it stared at me long enough.
+AAAAND, dont get me started on all my friends from elementary, junior highschool and highschool who fell off the earth and surfaced to facebook, just this last year alone.

But the most dominant reason is, as most of you know, I'm a packrat. I believe everyone in your life has value or worth, even if not immediately apparent. Maybe not even for a few years. So I may hardly ever contact ppl, but I like to know that should I need to, I can. Some ppl put too much weight on FB. "You haven't poked me in 4 months so I'm going to delete you." Like you're really that important? Are we really that insecure that we're worried about ppl stalking our page?

Sidenote: If you're concerned about ppl learning too much
about your life from facebook, go to a mirror, take a good look, and slap the
first person you see. A: What are you putting on your page that is so sensitive,
classified intel; and B: Why are you putting it there? For tips on how to
safeguard your page, revisit
TOS: Facebook owns you. Get over it. Here's how.
IF I could, I would re-label half of my list, "associates" "colleagues" "classmates" or just "contacts." Of the 1430, I most likely have an actual relation/affinity to about 1000 of them. Theres about 100, I just met on fb (chat/discussion groups, commenting on a thread, random hi how are you's etc) and about 300 that I met in passing, promoters, networkers or professional contacts I met once or twice.

Of the thousand, there about 300 ppl all over the world that if I were visiting a city, I could crash with for a day or 10. There are a few hundred that in all honesty I will probably never pick up the phone and call but if they need me for something, I'm there and vice versa. Yes, I'm connected to 1430 ppl. They may not all be
Flat Tire or Bail Money friends, but you only need a handful of those. Its great to have a starting five, but everyone needs a full supportive bench, marketting team, supportive staff, custodial staff, best boys, key grips, or extras in the reserves. They may not have bought courtside seats, but the nose bleed fan has value too.

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