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As of this writing, I have 272 friends on Facebook, I was quite happy with this number considering the average number of friends a user has on Facebook is 132. (According to this 2007 report) But my number was called into question when a "friend" boastfully showed off her 400+ friends. And because I hate having anything of mine called into question, whether it be my likability or how many people want to display a picture of me on their personal page, I decided to give the Facebook friends number some serious thought and came up with several scenarios.

Scenario 1 - You're Picky
I have a friend who is incredibly picky about who he'll "friend" on Facebook. Not just anyone will do. In fact, there are several factors that come into play when deciding whether or not someone is worthy of admittance to his inner circle. You should have spoken to him through some form of contact within the last few years. This means that you're close, maybe not best friends, but you aren't surprised when under their status it says "Bob has just completed his hormone injections and is ready for the sexual reassignment surgery." Also, it helps if you haven't wronged him in anyway. (This includes being an ex-girlfriend of mine, at least in his terms.) And while his numbers may be low, his particularly cultivated friend group is loyal and are only those he feels should know about his day-to-day grind.

Scenario 2 - You're a Friend Whore
Anyone will do. You'll take anyone and anything. I fall into this category - slightly. I swore to myself I'd never allow certain arch nemeses of mine befriend me. And after a few days of contemplation, the "Accept Friend Request" button was pushed. Now, not only do my enemies see how I really spent my New Year's Eve, but so do my bosses (current and former), former college roommates, kids I haven't seen since elementary school, and unfortunately ... my parents. (This is a whole other topic which needs to be addressed. Stay tuned.) But by accepting everyone, much like the Statue of Liberty, your friend number grows exponentially.

Scenario 3 - The Networker
These people have medium levels of connectivity. Careful selection is made, and there's an emphasis on connecting to people who will increase your station in life. I have known people who put their Facebook profile link on their business cards. But at the same time, this person won't add Garth from the graphics department as their friend because he has a penchant for posting photos of you, and that potentially underage girl you met in Thailand.

Scenario 4 - You're Famous
Of course, if you're famous, you have other things to worry about like how many friends you have. In fact, your assistant is probably befriending everyone for you. I have one famous person on my list of friends, though I was actually good friends with this guy growing up and we've kept in touch throughout the years. So it's legit and not star fucker-ish. But he has something like 10,000 friends and I'm sure he knows about 50 of them. But if you want a huge friend count, you'd better start practicing your tennis serve now.

So what have we learned? Basically nothing. Maybe that the number of friends you have doesn't actually dictate what type of person you are. Hell, I know a lot of questionable people with upwards of 200 people as their Facebook friends. And no one I know can stand them. So me, and my faithful 272 will go back to the social networking world. Proud of who we know, and who we can entertain with a witty status update.
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2 Comments

Did you really create 268 fake Facebook accounts? That is impressive, it is nice to see that you took your earlier vacation from all things work and put it to a good use!

said Jonniewalker on January 7, 2009 3:50 PM.

Jonnie, make it 267. My account is real. I can't tell the others.

said Leonardo Carvalho on January 7, 2009 4:59 PM.
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