My daughter and I have had a long running debate about the number of friends she is connected to via her Facebook page. At last count, it was over 800. My position is that you can’t have 800 real friends and it’s not safe to have that many people (most of them “strangers”) connected to you, knowing what’s going on in your life.
Her position is that she knows every single person she has “friended” and she doesn’t share very much on Facebook. Granted she’s a college student with a wide circle of people in her life, but I still don’t think it’s wise for them all to have access to her daily or weekly announcements or posting of her photos and videos, even if 99% are not provocative.
Just Say No to Friend Requests
Because my daughter’s not a celebrity (at least, not yet) and until she gets paid like one and can afford security personnel, I think she should limit herself to 150 Facebook intimates. When I suggest such sage advice, she gives me that “Are you insane?” look that she’s mastered since she turned 13-years-old.
Fortunately, I have some research to back me up in this argument. Check out Don’t Believe Facebook; You Only Have 150 Friends. Here’s a quote from the article: “Human beings can hold only about 150 meaningful relationships in their heads.”
So listen, people, maybe I can’t convince my daughter to change her social networking behavior, but maybe I can talk some sense into you, especially if you’re a “serial friender.” C’mon, let’s restore some sanity and get down 150 friends and keep it there.
Fewer Friends Means Less Vulnerability
Just make it a rule, 150 and no more. If you decide you want to add someone new, then you gotta dump someone else. The benefits from this discipline will be huge. You’ll suddenly have wall postings by only the people you really care about. They won’t be getting lost in the flow of dreck posted by acquaintances and wayward politicians.
From a Internet security point of view, with fewer people in your social network, the less vulnerable you’ll be to the viral scams, phishing attacks, and spam that seem to make the rounds on Facebook rather frequently.