I much prefer this approach to friending people on Facebook to the more cynical friends-as-followers-to-pitch-to approach. A more select group of Facebook friends is far more meaningful than thousands of “friends” who are just people you connect to because connecting is less meaningful than it could be. Yes, Facebook uses our data to target ads but a better quality group of Facebook friends also translates into a better quality Facebook News Feed which is why we use Facebook in the first place, isn’t it?
I think it is possible to be so connected online and be lonely at the same time. We connect to so many people, call so many people “friends” who probably aren’t. Although we have hundreds or thousands of “friends”, can we meaningfully share our intimate moments, fears and challenges when they could betray insecurities when we have to be seen to be courageous and confident to survive?
We have more and more ways to share our lives. How many of those channels really allow us to be authentically vulnerable and terrified by the challenges we face before we find the strength to persevere? This is one of the costs of the social Web we don’t quite realise yet because we are so caught up in connecting and “friending”.