The Beauty of Adding Acquaintances on Facebook

by - 11 August

I'm very selective about the people I add on Facebook. Unlike Twitter and Instagram I use Facebook to post personal updates to share only with my 'real' friends. Though this hasn't stopped me adding acquaintances I think might be useful contacts.

The story is different when I get a friend request from an acquaintance. I never respond or I'd 'accept' only if I think I will bump into them again. Then I'll add them straight onto my 'acquaintances' list so that I can cancel them out of any very personal updates.

For a few months I experimented with removing some people off of my 'acquaintances' list to see what would happen and the results were beautiful.

Let me show you how.

As a part of my experiment I added someone I had never spoken to in person but was in my 'people you may know' circle. We went to the same classes but just never spoke to each other.

I'd notice that he'd 'like' and even comment on some of the statuses that would have otherwise been blocked from his viewing. I am also very selective about the Facebook likes I give out. I treat them like rare gems, set aside only to give out to posts that I think are meaningful and posts only by friends I know. This acquaintance prompted me to push my experiment a little further by also giving out likes more often.

A few months later we bumped into each other at a networking event and we were really excited to see each other, even hugged! It wasn't until he came up in conversation with a friend who asked me we knew each other when I realised that we don't in fact know each other and that the networking event was our first ever real life conversation. The rest was Facebook.

Over the seven month period Facebook fed us all this information about each other via our status updates, photos, pages we liked and comments. When logging in I check notifications, respond to messages then begin the scroll. During that scroll some things catch my attention, a viral video, The Huffington Post, BBC News. My best friend's dog pictures - not so much. I'd very rarely stop to look for more than 2 seconds. A quick second's glance at updates from anyone on Facebook over a seven month period is enough to, well, make you feel like you've known each other for ages.

Facebook doesn't get enough credit for the relationships it has helped create in a generation where we don't have the time or the patience to get to know new people without the intention for business relationships or any other personal gain. It helps us realise how much we have in common with acquaintances before we can forget about them. To put it simply, it does all the work for us.

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