Posted by: emilyhowardprincipato | October 7, 2009

Facebook “Friends”

While reading this post – Friendship is Complicated by Jeff Jarvis on Buzz Machine, he references a post by Meg Packard who discusses the complications of “friends” and “friending people” on facebook .

Both of these posts are very applicable because trying to figure out who I want in my social network is something that I have dealt with more and more frequently.  These posts are also from 2007, but I am impressed how relevant they are to October of 2010. 

I have been on facebook since it started in 2006, and since then, I have collected thousands of pictures and over a thousand friends.  I am “friends” with my immediate family, current and former employees, old college coaches, old college friends, friends from childhood and people I only know through social networking sites.

With the broad spectrum that all of my “friends” are in, I wish there was some way to filter out who could see what I wanted them to see.  I don’t want my mom, boss and clients to see old college photos of keg parties or halloween costumes.  And yes, I could untag myself on these, but Facebook is my photo gallery and I want to keep them all on there.

Recently it has been very difficult for me because now that Facebook has become more prevalent with everyone and it not just limited to college students.  My clients are requesting friendship with me.  Family friends are requesting friendship with me.  It is getting harder to ignore these requests.  I typically say that Facebook is personal and I can connect with them on LinkedIn or Twitter, however I don’t want it to hurt my relationship with them by ignoring it.

I know they have special privacy settings, but I think it would be helpful to create an application where you can filter your friends by the relationship you have with them and what they want to see.  It is tough for young professionals who want to keep some things filtered to certain people to have everything in the open.  I know that once a photo is on the internet, it is for public consumption, but I think this would help.

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