FaceBook Circles of Friends

I’ve been on FaceBook for a month or so. I’ve also been on Twitter mostly to advertise blog posts and new projects, but I deleted my MySpace account. I am not sure why I am on FaceBook. I felt at the time that I might be able to use it to get work. Since I don’t actually need a job at the moment, I have just been "going with the flow". My rule about friends is that I will not actually add a friend with whom I have never had a meaningful conversation, either in person or by way of email. I see lots of names of people that I recognize, but would not count as actual acquaintances, not to mention friends.

It seems there is definite shape to the internal topology of FaceBook. I have several major circles.

First, I have a few relatives and close friends. There are very few of these as my friends and family are not computer geeks. The ones on FaceBook do not update their profiles very often and do no use the status box much.

Next, there is the blues harmonica crowd, which has somehow expanded to the Rockland Westchester blues jam crowd. There are many people that I have jammed with years ago and many more that I recognize, but few that I think would know me. I befriended some harmonica players, but not guitar players (especially not bass players or singers). Surprisingly, Carlos Colina is not not FaceBook. He would have a million contacts. This group is very social and makes up a good chunk of my FaceBook contacts. It is by far the largest group represented when I check to see the friends suggestions.

The next crew is the Spec-Fic people. By befriending social butterflies such as J. Erwine (yes, J, you are a social butterfly, at least on FaceBook), I have been exposed to a wide circle of Spec-Fic writers, most of whom I have read, several of whom have sent my stories back with rejections, and a very few that I have actually had email conversations with. This is the most varied group by age and location. If I was as gregarious as the very friendly J. Erwine, I would have a really wide network here.

There is a smaller group of former coworkers. I have recently contacted former coworkers from Lockheed, IBM, RCC and Spherion. I tried to find my old O&R, St. Regis Paper, and Western Union friends, but they either dead or not on FaceBook. I suffer from an inability to remember names, so I have not been able to locate many people that I can visualize. I go through the people that I have not seen in more than 20 years and if I can remember them well enough (and actually liked them) I have been adding them. Several people where I work now are on FaceBook, but I have not contacted them. I would rather wait until after I leave here to decide whether or not they are friends. For now they are coworkers, which is very much a different animal.

The last group is a few people that I have had odd conversations with over the years who have found me in their email. Every once in a while one stands out and I add this singleton to my list of friends. I feel no compunction about not adding people that I can’t remember, or if I do, didn’t like. I’m not trying to reach a large audience or rack up a huge number of friends. I am social with limits.