Though Scott Brown’s Wired Magazine article on Facebook “Friendonomics” is almost 4 years old now, it still rings true. I was recently “found” by an ex whom with I parted amicably almost 30 years ago. She wasn’t looking to re-kindle, just to catch up. (It turns out, BOTH of us are happily married.) We had a flurry of well-thought out exchanges full of details, well wishes, and requests for family photos for about 3 weeks. Despite the predictable lull, it was really heartwarming to catch up with an old friend. Here’s the important part: She found me via Google, not Facebook. She still has no Facebook account with no intention of ever having one. I told her she was wise to do so. (This I wrote as I thought about the many long, unanswered catch-up emails I wrote to my newly reacquainted Facebook Friends.) Or as Mr. Brown so aptly put it: “The more Friends you have, the less they’re worth—and, more to the point, the less human they are.” It seems like common sense that we have a finite capacity to be (true) friends with so many people. As a matter of fact, my stated reason for once closing (and since reactivating) my Facebook account: Bandwidth Exceeded.
Mickey Rourke in Barfly: The analog equivalent of 21st Century friendship?