Facebook Friends: Is the relationship really beneficial?


In one of today’s top stories on Mashable, a survey was conducted with 400 women to find out how they really felt about their Facebook friends (Read it here). The results were not as positive as we might have liked, with over 80 percent of women studied saying that they had been annoyed with posts by their Facebook friends.There were also lots of other interesting statistics that show the love-hate relationship between women and their Facebook connections.

We have all had that friend who is constantly annoying people with their professions of love for their significant other, hate for their chemistry exams, or some other continual tangent that you find totally irrelevant to your friendship with that person.  In a this cute video, Altoids classifies some of those annoying friends on Facebook.

While the song was sort of catchy and well directed, we’re still wondering what this has to do with breathe mints. As the Mashable story says, “On Facebook, after all, no one can smell your breath.” The study of women and their Facebook friends, however, also revisits the idea of classifying those friends who are most likely to make you wish you could “un-follow” them without “de-friending” them completely.

We might argue, however, that the issue isn’t really your friends fault because of their annoying habits. Instead, the problems we have of being annoyed with friends posts could be nothing more than a case of “Friend Overload”. According to British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, we only have the cognitive ability to keep up with about 150 friends, which also applies to our Facebook friends: “The interesting thing is that you can have 1,500 friends but when you actually look at traffic on sites, you see people maintain the same inner circle of around 150 people that we observe in the real world” (Mashable). Therefore, if we indulged in a much needed “friend purge” our annoyance level with Facebook friends would greatly decrease because we would only be gaining information from friends we truly care about hearing from on a regular basis. try checking out your Friendship Pages to see which friends you really interact with regularly. New gadgets such as Smart.fm can help you see how much you actually know about these so-called friends. As my fellow classmate said in a recent blog post, “I find it cathartic to sever ties with a lot of those ‘friends’ I’ve accumulated being the social butterfly I am.”

So, will you consider de-friending some folks or just continue to be annoyed by their posts? Or, will you be using the new tools in social media to find out who has de-friended you? Maybe you really do have a strong relationship with quite a few friends, but feel that you could use some help finding old friends on Facebook, adding new friends who attended events with you, automatically following your Facebook friends on Twitter, or even meet your romantic match with Thread. You can even transfer your profile over to a Facebook page! Whatever your situation is, I hope that you are still finding ways to enjoy your time on Facebook and aren’t being annoyed like these women.

Happy Facebooking!


P.S. One last question: Would you trade 10 Facebook Friends for a Whopper?