A Facebook Redirect. Friendship & Who Do You Really Know?

I was just reading a post on someone's Facebook wall and she said that she's going to "weed out her friends" to only include the people that she knows in real life. Everyone else would be directed to a new Facebook page. I've "seen" her in real life, but never officially met her or hung out with her, so I'm sure that I'll be one of the many who are unfriended. *sigh* This was one of the reasons why I resisted joining Facebook for so long.

Anyway, it's a perfectly valid thing to do and her choice, but then I thought about some of the people that I know. If I spend time with someone in person, how much better do I really know them than someone that I've emailed back and forth with, and commented on their blog for years?

How many in person interactions does it take to equal years of online interaction for the purposes of being kept as a "real friend" on someone's Facebook page. A few months? More? Less? Is the Facebook friend to in person friend ratio like the ratio of human years to dog years?

How do we know when we really know someone? What counts more?

I've had a few "in person friends" for years who I thought I knew pretty well, then they each did things so off the wall, that I wondered if I ever really knew them at all.

What are your experiences? How do you know when you really know someone? Do we ever truly know anyone?

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SharleneT said…
People can be married for years and still not know each other; so, people that pass through your life? Naw. It's probably more like you've 'seen' them regularly and so your subconscious feels friendly. FB can be a brutal experience. Just have some warm cocoa and a Krispy Kreme at hand when you check to find out where you landed! Come visit when you can.
Lisa Johnson said…
sharlene - LOL! I like your idea of the warm cocoa and a Krispy Kreme. It will ease the pain. : )
Anonymous said…
I think I did the same think on FB a few months ago. In an attempt to try and control my online image, I divided my personal contacts from my professional contacts. I'm hoping if someone is looking for professional information, that's all they'll find.
Lisa Johnson said…
campbele - Mine is hopelessly mixed up. For a while, I tried to keep my blog FB page separate from my personal one, but it didn't work, so I gave up. Oh well. : )
T. said…
What a great and thought-provoking post. I've accepted the fact that for me Facebook will have to me a mixed bag - some close friends, some friends I know "less well," and some with whom I may not exactly be "friends" with in the social sense but whose contact I value nonetheless. I post what I'm comfortable sharing publicly.

As for the question of how we really know a person... I think it must depend on the quality of the relationship, not necessarily the time spent. Moreover, I've learned that knowing facts about people - how they like their coffee, what their favorite books and movies are, what happened to them in childhood that made them scared of bees, etc. - will always be less important than knowing how they will respond in a given situation. With compassion or contempt? With humor or with frustration? With generosity or with self-absorption, respect or prejudice? You can have a sense of the latter - their character - without knowing a ton of factual stuff - their personality. I believe either kind of knowledge can be a basis for claiming to know or be friends with someone.
Lisa Johnson said…
t - I love your comment! Yes! Knowing how someone will respond in a given situation is HUGE! That's it. The big picture. Character vs personality. I wish that we were sitting down having a cup of coffee and discussing this further. We have to get together soon! ; )
T. said…
OMG I was JUST thinking that. We are overdue for coffee & baked yummies! Or, we could make good on our thought of driving out to King Arthur Flour in Vermont when the weather's really nice. I'll check my schedule - let's make it happen!
Lisa Johnson said…
t - Definitely! ; )

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