Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cleanup 2010

I recently re-established contact someone. She's the girl in this post from April 2008. She does not use social networking sites (facebook) and rarely ever pops up online on instant messaging. I havent seen or heard from her in almost two years.

It made me realize something. Human relationships are ultimately independent of the internet. So what if you stalk and watch the status updates of a thousand people you barely know? It does not make you closer to someone, and cloggs up your brain with unnecessary information about people who dont necessarily care about you in return.

Facebook will now be more focused. More relevant. I will only see updates from people whom I really know are my friends. Those who reciprocated empathy. Those whom I care about. Those whom I wont hesitate to call if I broke a leg. Allowances will be made for people likely to be important to my career (read: Friends from the faculty I dont really know well), but they will be appropriately classified as work related contacts and their status updates will be hidden from my view. There will also be allowances for new people I would like to establish contact with.

Robin Dunbar (read about Dunbar's Number) observed that social groups tend to lose cohesiveness after the size exceeded 150 people. He estimated that people could maintain contact with roughly 150 people at once. Any more and social connections will start to collect dust and break. As a young guy, a majority of my friends use facebook, hence it offers a pretty good representation of my social circles, both past and current. Despite having a pretty strict no-add policy, my friends list has ballooned to over 500 people. I dare say that I only have about ten people on that list whom I would call without hesitation if I broke a leg. Only half of them are in Australia. The target is to trim my facebook contacts to about 100 people, with the remainder (estimated to be around 100) consisting of people I recently met and wish to build bridges and those relevant to my career path.

Apologies to those deleted from my friends list in facebook and MSN. I just have to stop this flood of status updates that I want yet dont want to read =S. Even if you cannot reach me on facebook, know that my current contact details can be found from this blog (about me page) and I would be glad to re-establish contact. It's not going to be easy, but it has to be done. The criteria for selection has been highlighted in the previous blog post.

Removed 314 people from my friends list (updated 25th Jan). Final tally:
- 87 med acquaintences added to facebook list
- about 20 new people (ie. people I'd like to get to know better)
- about 90 friends

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