In Defense of Social Media and Facebook Friends

Author: Frank Bocchino
Published: November 28, 2012 at 8:09 am

Facebook is planning on changing its privacy policy again. And a new social media website wants to encourage us to follow the advice of our friends instead of complete strangers. With perpetual skepticism, sarcasm approaching warning levels, and being named yet again to People Magazine's "Sexiest Curmudgeon of the Year" list, I've somehow accumulated more friends than I really should have. (O.K. so I may have substituted the word "messiest" with "sexiest" in the previous sentence.) And some of my best friends are strangers I have only corresponded with through social media; ones I have never met and not likely I ever will.

If you think about it, you didn't really choose the friends you saw this weekend. More likely, they're your neighbors, your family, work associates, fellow students who sat next to you in Algebra class, or the parents of the other kids on our kid's team. We "promote" these people to friendship status due to their close proximity to our lives, their time served in it, or due to our disillusionment with other friends who we feel should be, well, friendlier.

The Peter Principle is a belief that, in an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit, that organization's members will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability. When applied to friendship it's rising beyond the levels of commonality.  See, I don't really want to have Peter as my friend. He just sees the photos of my kid everyday on my desk, or lives in the apartment above me, or dropped me off at the mechanics to pick up my car — well you get the picture. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, but we often don't even like our friends. Harsh, I know but we're usually appointed our "real life" friends.  

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Article Author: Frank Bocchino

Social media humorist, marketer, published author several hundred times, I specialize in web content creation.

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