I spent the weekend in Boston visiting an old college friend and my wife’s old college roommates.
It was a nice trip where I realized there are friends who you speak with face to face and have shared memories that go back decades and you have “friends” on Facebook who you really don’t know.
Guess which group of friends will show up at your funeral?
It’s no contest.
Too bad Facebook didn’t use the term “prospects,” or “business acquaintances” instead of “friends.”
It would have been much closer to the truth.
My litmus test: If you haven’t spoken with person ever by phone, then they probably aren’t a “friend.”
They can be nice – and they can “like” you but they aren’t a “friend.” Friends are people you have dinner with, share a glass of wine with, and help them move their furniture.
I realize some people really do write to their real friends on Facebook, but if you’re like me, most people on your Facebook page are really business associates and colleagues of those associates who you couldn’t pick out at a cocktail party. Why am I ranting? Because I see the level of “engagement” on Facebook and LinkedIn to be pathetic for the most part. People are spending so much time building their numbers but very little time being personable.
Case in point: People post their birthdays on Facebook. I send a “happy birthday” message. You’d think one person would at least say “thank you” or use that message as a way to begin a conversation?
Not my “friends.”
I loved this post for a couple of simple reasons, Dan. First, I’ve thought about purging my Facebook “personal” page (99% of what I post there is business) of people I don’t personally know and those who don’t respond in any way to my posts or my comments to theirs. These are typically the people who don’t “like” my business’ Fan Page, either.
The birthday wishes thing cracks me up — which is why I removed mine from my account. Dozens of birthday wishes from those who only recognize your day because it’s listed in the margin to me, is the easiest form of insincerity. (The first year I was on, I realized a VA who posted the same exact wishes for her client and herself.) Not to say “thank you” as you mentioned, is plain, bad manners!
It’s because of Facebook’s “friend” label I think people want to connect everywhere. On Twitter, I welcome it. I’ve had great conversations there to the degree those people did become friends and/or associates.
Thanks for a post that I hope will make people think before they “friend” for the sake of bolstering a number.