That means you've added friends from:
- High School
- Grad School
- ...different phases of your life
- ...multiple jobs!
Facebook is interesting to me because it's become so pervasive, everybody has a Facebook account - it's easy to forget its core purpose, which in my opinion is: to supplement a real life outside of your computer.
- You post pictures of events you went to in real life
- You share things with the people you actually care about
Is Facebook a directory of people you used to know?
It could be, but that's Facebook's role / the role of search, not the role of your friend list. Your friends are your friends. You can search Facebook and message people you're not friends with, if you're looking to reconnect.
I've over-thought the concept of "friends" the past few years because I did something not a lot of people are ever in a position to do...
Have you ever considered that "if you needed it", certain people would be there for you, no matter what?
Well I used to think that. And when my mom died, someone I thought would be there for me without a doubt was my girlfriend. She was NOT there for me. She was Mormon, and because I thought about religion and left my girlfriend's church when my mom died... she treated me like I was led astray by Satan. She made a lot of false accusations and I broke up with her... when my mom died.
So here's the thing I did that most people don't do:
I then systematically reached out to every person I ever felt would be there for me if I needed someone. I reached out to friends I used to teach RCIA with (because I was thinking about religion) - no reply. I reached out to my old best friend from high school. He confronted me and told me everything I read and believe is bullshit. I had bought him a book that meant the world to me... but I think he wanted me to respect his thoughts and beliefs, without reading one page of the book I bought him. I guess he didn't consider why maybe I wanted to open up to him about that book.
...it's frustrating being called closed-minded or a zealot, certainly by the people you at one time felt closest to, when I'm the one who turned Mormon, lived a faith other than the one I was raised in, and read books on science and comparative religion.
I admit, the topics I wanted to talk about (death and religion, harsh break up) were polarizing / difficult for some people to think about rationally, or to think about outside of the frame of reference they've been brought up on (ex. all religion belongs on a pedestal / you are always a dick to speak out against it). Some people just aren't equipped to talk about those subjects.
Fortunately, I have a small handful of friends who truly care about me. In reaching out, these friends have filled in pieces for me, and offered valuable advice. One wrote miles of text over email with me. One just hung out with me whenever I seemed like I could use it. You could argue that in reaching out the way I did, I actually did discover who my friends are, who I want in my life, and who I don't.
Some of my friends' advice has included:
- ...that "email" is difficult for some people
- ...that people can be unequipped to talk about certain topics
- ...that sometimes "fuck it" is the best attitude
- Understanding can sometimes mean: accepting things the way they are
- Sometimes you want to be understood, no one wants to feel alone
- A goal of any kind of communication / media can be to feel less alone
- Your thoughts can be justified, even if none of your friends understand
- Self-worth should always come from yourself
I personally think it's best to pare down your friend count. Your friends list should have mostly "friends" on it. But what do you think?