Warren Ellis just deleted his entire Facebook friends list and blogged about it. He’s complaining about the same thing I’ve mentioned before, though I haven’t made those complaints about Facebook specifically. He says:
“…the more “friends” you allow on your Facebook list, the more unusable Facebook gets.”
This is something I’ve been saying about Twitter. Other than playing a few games with a few of my friends I really don’t use facebook at all. The poking, linkspaming, constant updating and everything else does a pretty good job of making Facebook useless enough as it is, so I kind of just use it to see who I know and how I met them. The social timeline is the best thing on there I think, as only people I actually know take the time to fill out when they met me. That said when I get requests by people I don’t think I’ve ever met or talked to or heard of, and we’re connected by ZERO people, I generally decline. Twitter on the other hand I use all the time and keeping the signal to noise ratio in check is important to me. That’s why I think all this “reciprocation” shit is horsecrap. I’m supposed to not be able to see what my friends are up to, not use the service for what it was created to do, because my page is full of updates from people I don’t know but I’m afraid I might offend if I don’t follow them just because they are following me? I don’t think so. I know at least 5 people who have secret Twitter accounts so they can follow only their friends while following everyone and anyone on their main account so as not to come off as rude. That’s totally bullshit. I really think that following more than 150-200 people (depending on how much some of them post) makes the site either a massive timesuck or totally useless. I’ve mentioned before I’m adding and removing people all the time based on where in the world I am, and where in the world they are as there are some people I only need to follow when we are in the same town. Additionally there are some people I don’t follow but do read their pages on my own simply because they are too active and push off all the updates from my other friends. That’s a divergence from the point I was trying to make, which actually Warren makes to:
“…people add me just because they’ve seen me in other profiles…”
This is one of the main reasons I quit MySpace initially, and Friendster, and whatever else. I hate feeling like a trading card. Some people join a service and rush out to make sure they have all the right people on their friends lists. There are people I’ve never talked to, never messaged with, never met on any level who list me as a friend on every service I’m a using. I’m not at the point of deleting my friends list and starting over like Warren, like I said I don’t use Facebook the way he does so it doesn’t really interfere with how I do use it, but this is obviously an issue that future SNS will need to address. Twitter is on the right track by allowing people to follow you that you don’t follow yourself. Maybe Facebook should do something similar.