Too Many Friends?

FriendsWe’ve all been there. You run into an old acquaintance at Costco, you speak to them for a little while, you say good bye and then come home to find a friend request on your Facebook page.

How many friends do you have on Facebook? 50? 150? 450? When I first joined Facebook I had a couple of dozen ‘friends’. I had a family circle, a college circle and my neighbourhood circle. In 2008 we were posted across the country, and I met a new circle of friends. At this point my ‘friends’ list grew and approached 100. For some reason this really concerned me as I couldn’t imagine that I even liked more than 99 people. I desperately began culling folks from our previous posting location trying to keep the friend list to the arbitrary two digit limit I had created for myself. Who gets cut? Who stays? Will they know that I have un-friended them? Will they be offended if I ignore their friend request?

And then we were posted again…

290 Friends

I have recently discovered the most amazing setting on Facebook. The ‘Acquaintance’ setting is highly underutilized and many people don’t even know that it exists. If you feel that you can’t ignore the Costco ‘friend’ and have accepted their request – you can make them an acquaintance. Simply go into your friends list and click on the box beside their name and select ‘Acquaintances’. Their information will rarely show up in your news feed and you can restrict what they see on your own page.


Acquaintances

The next time you want to add a status update to your Facebook page you simply select ‘Friends except Acquaintances’ in the drop down menu.

Friends Except Acquaintances

I have used this extensively in an attempt to stay connected but to also manage my privacy. Do you use this feature? Do you have too many friends?

5 thoughts on “Too Many Friends?

  1. Hi there,

    I read your post with interest. I’m a little old-fashioned in that I’m not (yet) on Facebook. Personally, I find the notion of having potentially hundreds of Facebook “friends” a little unsettling. Are these people among those you would socialize with regularly (i.e. in person for dinner or outing etc). If not, my sense is the “friends” are more likely to be considered “acquaintances” — so it in that sense when you adjust your settings accordingly it’s probably a good idea. I’m not sure what a manageable number of “friends” in the traditional sense is but it probably in the single digits, in my opinion.

  2. Hi Beth, I really enjoyed your information regarding Facebook and the Acquaintance option vs Friends. I wasn’t aware of this option so I appreciate you sharing that as a tool to manage who sees what in Facebook.

  3. I go through my Facebook nearly once a month to purge friends, and now I feel bad! I’m around 250 but I don’t want to lose all the connections forever (or risk offending anyone). I have old friends from elementary school right through undergrad and then those that I have met in the years since. Sometimes it’s nice to catch up, so this feature will definitely come in handy for me, especially for those “friends” who over-share. I had no idea it existed, so thank you!

  4. Oh the Facebook Friend Purge. You know it’s an annual thing on Facebook now, right? haha. An event actually circulates around Facebook encouraging you to purge friends.

    Great post, Beth. The acquaintance feature is something I need to use more. In fact, I use it on my Parents. (Shhhh!!). I was finding them commenting silly comments on just about everything I was posting. It got to an embarrassing level considering my Facebook page is semi-professional haha. Too many “That’s my son. I’m so proud of you. Love mom.”

    I love my parents. Haha.

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