keeping things simple (hopefully)
January 10, 2008
Filed under: Funny, Thought Provoking — Jason @ 1:29 am

Browsing around Facebook and LinkedIn today I noticed that there are some people that just have way too many friends. How many people can you possibly be friends with… for real? And then a funny thought came to my mind:

“The more friends you have within online social networks and mmorpgs, the less likely you are to have real friends in the real world.”

I name this The Law of Inverse Online Friends. (If anyone can think of a better name, please share it with me)

Now, I know people may get upset with that law because of 2 things: First, that is definitley not a tautology (in the logical meaning) and second, who am I to say what a ‘real’ friend is? If you are one of those people, then relax, you are exempt from this law. Just take the stick out of your ass and get a life :)

[update:  Since the posting of this article, I have quadrupled my friends in facebook... ]


  1. In my personal opinion, it is a little hard to create a general law or rule like that when you take into consideration the differences between these social networks. Let’s look at the two most popular…

    My Space: This site is about discovery. It is about meeting new people who share your common interest. Only 60% of the people who you are “friends” with on MySpace are people you know in real life. Looking at the origin and history of MySpace, this makes sense. It is not a utility for users to keep track of their friends - but rather to make new relationships with strangers online.

    Facebook: This site is the complete opposite. 90% of the people you are “friends” with are people you actually know in “real life”. Facebook is used as a utility rather than a channel for introductions.

    Neither of these sites actually defines the term “friends”, although Facebook comes close. Facebook allows you to indicate how you know someone (classmate, colleague, friend, family member). This is an attempt to help users qualify their relationship.

    I joined facebook when I was in college. People who were in my class, but not necessarily “friends” connected with me. Often we used facebook as a means of communication (rather than giving something personal like your sn (gasp!) or cell phone out. As I moved from class to class, I gained more and more friends. But now that I’m out of college, I never see these people. Should I “un-facebook-friend” them? Of course not. That would be offensive from a social network etiquette rule standpoint, as well as fairly stupid on my part since networking is usually a good thing, not a bad thing.

    I certainly agree with you that there are people out there who are insecure enough to just add-add-add people as “friends”, but I wouldn’t create a “law” or rule based on these folks. Just my opinion.

    Comment by Sahkira — April 26, 2008 @ 6:02 pm

  2. I follow a different way of thinking when it comes to facebook. If someone’s profile page is in such the order of multiple megabytes that just looking at it brings my computer to it’s knees(ie they have every facebook app known to man on their page), then they are not worth adding as as friend

    Comment by Jims — August 29, 2008 @ 12:12 am

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