Not So Mutual Facebook Friends


While scrolling around on the Web I found the article, “Facebook’s Privacy Trainwrek,” by Danah Boyd, which was published by Sage Publications in 2008. I agreed with everything Boyd stated about Facebook, News Feed, and the relationships we create or think we create on Facebook. Yes, I am a Facebook user and yes I say that I use Facebook to stay connected with friends. But, by “friends” I don’t mean the ones I accept on Facebook I mean the ones I was friends with before I was on Facebook.

First Boyd explains to readers that the Facebook News Feed is structured in the same structure of a blog with information being displayed in “reverse chronological order” or the newest information is posted at the top. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook Creator) communicated to the users about the News Feed for Facebook through his blog. Similar coincidence that the Facebook creator uses a blog? I don’t think so.

Intrapersonal relationships can be created online and offline, but is it always a mutual friendship? I mean I surely have numerous Facebook Friends who I have hardly ever talked to, don’t keep up with offline, and don’t have their phone number.

In my Intro to Writing Arts class, one of my peers said that she only keeps Facebook Friends that she has their phone number to call them up or talk to them off of the internet, and I feel that is a great rule to follow when involving yourself online.

Boyd further describes how Facebook relationships are not always mutual, yet we may feel like we know one of our “Friends” really well because of their frequent posts and information from Facebook.

In one scenario Boyd describes how an individual follows their crush on Facebook and feels that they know things about them like interests, birthday, photos, who they are friends with, etc. When in fact the individual has just memorized their Facebook page and really has no relationship with their crush and may not even know they exist.

This is what users call Facebook Stalkers or as I have called them: Not so mutual friends.

In Boyd’s article he described different scenarios around the Facebook News Feed that came out on September 5th, 2006 (Boyd, 2). After the publication of the News Feed Facebook put out privacy settings because now the information users put on the Web 2.0 was popping up on everyone’s News Fed and the information was now far more assessable to Friends then before.

I have every Facebook privacy setting set because I don’t want users who aren’t my Friends to look at my information and I don’t want everyone who I am Friends with to see every picture, status, likes, wall post, or comment I make. Facebook tells too much information that not everyone wants to know, and there are those people that you feel you know or keep in touch with because of their activity on Facebook.

Most of my Facebook friends are friends offline and online with mutual relationships, and if they aren’t a mutual friend I have been slowly working on deleting those not so mutual Facebook Friends.


3 responses »

  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog post about this topic because I completely agree with you. My Facebook is set to privacy where only my friends on Facebook can look at my profile. I don’t want random people I don’t know to look at my Facebook profile. However, I do believe people build online communities through these social networks. Though, I don’t feel comfortable laying all my personal information out there for everyone to see. I do have mutual friends offline and online on Facebook, but I started deleting friends who I haven’t talked in a while or are just friends with because I graduated high school with them.

    From this post, I would like to find more information about this topic because it is very interesting.

  2. This is so true! I have so many friends of Facebook that I don’t really talk to, or even know well. Some of my husband’s family members and distant friends that neither of us talk to, most of which I’ve never met in person. It’s crazy how you tend to acquire all these friends that you barely know. And the worst part is that whatever annoying, inappropriate, and disgusting things they post on their page, shows up on your news feed, and I hate that!

    I hardly ever visit Facebook any more, mostly because I don’t have the time, and I have nothing to do in it. I have often thought of deleting those people but I’m the type of person who think to much and care to much about what people say (unfortunately), so I sometimes wonder what would they think if I delete them, whether they would know or not.

    But I think I will definitely go and delete them and double check my privacy settings.

    • If you delete them they won’t always notice unless they go to look for them. You can also hide users from your news feed if you don’t want to defriend them and don’t want to see their posts. Worst comes to worst if you delete someone and they refriend you, you can block them and they are unable to search/ add you. So much work for something that is not even really worth it! I have thought about deleting mine too, but I don’t think I will for another year until I graduate.

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