Facebook will sink under the weight of socially obligated "friendships"

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45 Responses to “Facebook will sink under the weight of socially obligated "friendships"”

  1. freshacconci says:

    I don’t understand why this is a problem. Maybe I’m cold, but I have no problem with not accepting certain people as friends. It’s easy. If it’s work related, accepting someone as a friend really isn’t a big deal. But someone you haven’t seen from grade school that you never liked? Why can’t you say no to that? I agree that what will finally kill facebook is the insanity of the applications. I ignore every single offer to add superpoke et al. Facebook can be fun, mainly to be nosy, I guess. But beyond that, it just doesn’t seem that important to get worked up over. Someone who you don’t like wants to be your friend? Say no.

  2. protundo says:

    But I would like to remember you have always the choice to slam them your doors….:)

    Pierluigi Rotundo

  3. Anonymous says:

    I got here from another blog, and within the author said that this was very insightful.

    I’ve found this to be a problem for a long time. It is fairly surprising to me that this was considered particularly prescient.

    Of course, there is some possibility of how to avoid this; for example, don’t actually have a friend option, but possibly some other method of connecting people (a listing of people you already have some connection to, possibly?)

  4. Dave X says:

    If I want to keep up with my friends, I’ll check their blog, or they can send me an e-mail. On the other hand, MySpace has been fantastic for music/radio contacts, despite it’s rampant ugliness.

    http://www.myspace.com/itde if you’re interested in experimental radio, btw..

  5. Kyle Armbruster says:

    Zfactor:

    If they did that, I’d be on it. I tried for a couple days, but soon found that my multiple social groups don’t lend well to such a service. Work people, who definitely are friends, were suddenly seeing comments from high-school/college friends who do things like take off their clothes for a living and talk a lot about it, or people I’m friends with whom they know but don’t know we’re friends… It’s just awful. In real life, you have several sets of friends, and you can keep them insulated from each other, for both your own good and for theirs. Not true of these sites.

    If I ever got enough gumption, I could just solve it with a blog, but commenting BB articles is about all I have time for.

    (sigh…)

  6. el_beardo says:

    First of all, everyone takes these social networking sites way too seriously. We all know it’s just for fun and to keep in touch with friends and family. But can’t we just use email for that?

    Secondly, i love deleting friend requests from total strangers. Who cares? If i don’t know you in real life, i’m not going to be your pretend online buddy just so you can bump up your number of friends. I’m not a number.

    Thirdly, i wish when friends were deleted from an account, that person would disappear in real life. Who cares if someone deletes you. It’s not life or death. It’s a joke. “So and so is mad at me and deleted me from their friends list” Well guess what? If you pansies can’t pick up a phone to fight, and insist on fighting online, you should both be deleted from the human race. Sounds like 8th graders to me.

    Fourth, i love counting…

  7. acb says:

    boyd’s law could be avoided if social network services had the ability to compartmentalise information according to audience. Some systems do this (LiveJournal, with its discreet group-based filters, is an excellent example, and Flickr has a more rudimentary version of this concept, with two hardwired “family” and “friends” groups). How long until someone applies this to a generic social-network service?

    See also: http://dev.null.org/blog/archive.cgi/2007/11/27#1316_whyfacedo

  8. KeithIrwin says:

    Joshua Schachter (father of del.icio.us and one of the people behind FOAF) has blogged about this sort of stuff some in the past year or so.

    Specifically, his posts here and here seem pertinent.

    Keith

  9. Jay Levitt says:

    Compartmentalization might work, but it’s probably too complicated for people to set up. And when you think about it, there are even gradations of those compartments. Yes, you have your club friends and your work friends, but you also have the friend you met at a club but got a $100 referral to get them the temp job at the office, and they hang out with some of the younger set at work, and so on. I find that my social groups are more a set of overlapping spectra than a clearly-delineated intersection of sets, and spending all my time categorizing them on Facebook would be worse than the time I tried to track my pocket change balance in Quicken.

    The simple solution is for Facebook to let us do exactly what we do in real life: Tell them they’re our friend. But lie.

    They see us, we don’t see them, we don’t get their Vampire SuperPokes, and in the unlikely chance they sent us something they consider important enough to remind us of later, oops! Must have been lost in the noise.

  10. Silva says:

    The only “social networking” thing I’ve joined is last.fm, and only because it provides me with a somewhat stable listening habits platform (don’t use or read journals, keep group activity to a minimum and only use shoutboxes with people I can’t contact elsewhere). I feel very uncomfortable if there’s too much information on me circling around teh interwebs – even if that information could be kept away from public eyes, I doubt most of those sites are that secure.

  11. khsmith says:

    After being on FaceBook for awhile to please my sister in law, I realized that it IS a silly place. What exactly does sending somebody a sparkly cupcake mean anyway?

    Most of my ‘friends’ were adults but communicated to each other like 8 year olds… except when I kept getting soft porn videos posted to my ‘SuperWall’. Why you are sending me this? I know where to get real porn…

    Finally I’d had enough, shut down my account, and telephoned (imagine that!) my ‘friends’ and told them I was done and if that offended them… well too bad, so sad.

    Maybe I AM just an old fart, but really, people… pick up the damn phone and talk to each other…

  12. hooray says:

    Just leave them in limbo––that in between, waiting for confirmation or rejection stage before you click the buttons. That’s what I do, and it works great.

  13. GabeH says:

    Cory, I initially had a knee-jerk reaction to your forecast, as I am one of those for whom FB is “pure crack.” However after some reflection I am inclined to agree with you on some points.
    Mostly I think what you are saying is that there are those of us who see through the hype (“15 Billion!?!”,) and once the rest of the world does too, FB will shrivel (somewhat; I disagree that it will implode.)
    As for the creepy people, I, like some of the commenters above, have no compunction with saying “no” to friend requests, and I also actively prune.
    Lastly, FB is a very useful place to organize real-world events, “get out and live!”, then post pics and have fun commenting.

  14. devoinregress says:

    This is why there is the limited profile feature is there. You also don’t have to friend people.

  15. whatifhesgotapointedstick says:

    Cory, thank you for putting my exact thoughts into words. I’ve done the MySpace thing, I’ve done the Facebook thing. I joined them to keep in touch with an old friend that I had gone to school with years ago, who was serving in the military. Suddenly, when these stalker services exploded, I was inundated with people I hadn’t talked to in years (and really had no desire to ever speak to again) “poking” me, writing on my “wall” and furiously sending me messages asking why I didn’t want to be their friend, all while being totally oblivious to my presence if I happened to run into them in the “real world.”

    I’ve been MySpace sober for a year now and I’ve never felt better. It has changed my life. I now realize that the only “social networking” I’ll ever need is a little face to face conversation, something that apparently terrifies the majority of the MySpace/Facebook community. Good riddance.

  16. Alan says:

    My solution is simple; don’t bother with online social networks. Complaining that old unwanted acquaintances are finding you on Facebook is like complaining that people are staring at you when you pee on a street corner.

  17. galacticnorth says:

    It seems like specialized social networking sites will go away when most of their important features have been replaced by the regular internet. Sharing videos and photos, friend/contact discovery, journals etc. and the host of privacy features people want with them could be a lot more effortless in email than they are now.

  18. Bat Guano says:

    I fixed things on my Myspace by posting a number of obscene and near-pychotic rants on its “blog” against the concept of Myspace “friends.” My real friends and listeners of my weird little radio show know that that’s just part of my charm. Others flee.

  19. rocheambeau says:

    Rather than looking at it as a problem with the social networking site, look at it as an opportunity to finally tell all those aquaintances you can’t stand exactly how you really feel.

    That kid who beat you up in 7th grade? The overbearing boss? You know you dislike, possibly even hate them. It’s time they know too. Clicking that big grey “Deny” button should feel like a vindication after years of oppressive aquaintance agony.

    Denying that aquaintance your digital friendship is just the first step. Next, start snubbing them in your day to day routine. Make a habit of dropping small hints like, “Could you please stop talking to me?” and “Oh… it’s you…” Start throwing parties and pointedly not inviting them. Bake them a lovely bunch of “brownies” the day before your company implements their first annual drug screening. Vilify their dearest held beliefs. Light their grandma on fire. Whatever it takes.

    After a long and arduous process, you too can finally be free of pointless social interaction with people you despise.

    On a slightly less serious note, I think you (Cory, Mr. Doctorow, Cap’n Fantastic, however you would prefer to be addressed)nailed the problem with all social networking sites with the line:

    “In the real world, we don’t articulate our social networks…”

    The fact that all of the current networking services exist in a completely different, but somewhat parallel reality to our actual, person-to-person, real life social network is the core of the problem (at least in my poorly informed opinion). Attempting to bridge the gap between your real-life social network (the people you can escape from) and your internet social network (the people you can’t) means reconciling the difference between your real self (nice guy, good grooming, etc.) and your internets self (asshole, poor bathing routine, mouth like a sailor). It’s like mixing your business and professional life. Next thing you know you’re sleeping with the boss and drunk at work all the time. Bad times all ’round.

    To echo those who posted before me, these sites need to allow us, the endusers, to structure them in a way that reflects our actual relationships with the people now lumped into “Friends”. A section for friends, aquaintances, contacts, artists we admire, artists we despise, and all the other complex relationships we develop and nurture in real life.

    Ideally, I would like a network that allows me to integrate my email, mobile phone and blog all into a single, easy to use interface. The “Friends” who I have accepted are given a varying amount of access to my personal details based on individual user rights I assign them and/or rights assigned to a given category of “Friend”. In a perfect world, I could use one site to track my friends, aquaintances, business contacts and favorite artists, access it from my PC, phone or any other internet ready device, and keep each category as separate or unified as I choose.

    Since we’re granting wishes, I would also like a pony.

  20. Perla says:

    Well, to be honest, there are people who I like but are acquaintances but I just want to know what they are up to and can’t be bothered sending emails. Like my 9th grade Italian classmate, I won’t send an email, but it’s interesting for me to nose about on his profile and see that he’s going to the US for 2 weeks. Then I say, have a nice trip. I’m REALLY not interested in anything else to send him an email. I’m sure the feeling is mutual. Email is more of an ongoing conversation, facebook is more of a what’s up.

    For an international person like me who’s lived in five different countries, and gone to international schools with people scattered all over the world, it’s great! Hey whatever happened to that Thai-Hungarian guy (my school was like that) in 7th grade who left the next year? So he went to farm on a commune, well would you adam and eve it?
    It’s kind of difficult to have high school reunions like that.

    If I never liked the person, I say no, and I don’t sign up anyone I never had some form of conversation with, and don’t want to. I say no, non and nyet.
    I do agree that the apps are a pain in the ass.

  21. woodka says:

    There’s these things called the phone and email that I use to keep in touch with my friends.

    Somehow that works just fine, thanks.

    Facebook is a scam to get your private information and sell it to someone. Wake up, people.

  22. help i cant comfirm my username themelonbread says:

    #8 by kraquehaus: You’re an idiot. If you don’t like stupid friends spamming you apps requests, tell them to stop. And people do not switch to different social networking sites just to follow the cool kids around. Everyone I knew on Xanga switched to Myspace because it had alot more photo and music functionality, in addition to being less focused on the blog aspect (which people would under-use because why the hell would you want to spill your guts/and or bore your friends to death?).

    Then my friends moved to facebook because it protected your privacy alot better, and it’s less littered by fake profiles trying to scam you, and it enabled people to plan events quickly and effeciently. Sure, I still think there’s a crapload of flaws in its design, but they aren’t as frivolous as banner ads and trendwhores.

  23. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    People go where their friends are, and where it’s easy to do things they want to do. They leave when there’s something better, or when they’re being bugged by a problem that never gets fixed.

  24. boing_x says:

    I really don’t understand adults using these “social networking” sites at all. Then again, I’m old, and people are getting more and more immature. Maybe there are more teenagers reading this site than I think.

  25. Laurie Mann says:

    I was briefly on Facebook and LinkedIn (which is supposed to be more for “professionals”) but got off both really quickly due to complete strangers befriending me and telling me to do likewise.

    I occasionally look at MySpace, but don’t really have an account there.

    I prefer LiveJournal, which is text-based, not app-heavy, and seems to be full of people I’m interested in communicating with. And, of course, blogger.

  26. 5000! says:

    Maybe there are more teenagers reading this site than I think.

    Or maybe there are more adults using social networking sites than you think. Facebook’s fastest growing demographic is people 35 and older. Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean they don’t.

  27. june says:

    Huh. I can’t say I’ve ever been approached by friends-of-high-school-friends, or creepy ex-co-workers, or anyone else I’m only marginally acquainted with. Nor do I feel any obligation to “friend” people just because they ask; nor do I hesitate to remove them if they start being obnoxious. I guess I’m just weird.

  28. liquis says:

    I had always wondered why myspace didnt notify you when someone removed themselves from your friends list, and tell you who they were. Now I think it seems like a pretty good feature, to just sort of slip away from someone’s 200+ list sometime after accepting their unwanted friendship. Theyll have a hard time finding who was the person that made their list go from 247 to 246 (even 45 to 44 would be difficult). Unless they have some kind of extra service to do that for them.

  29. angusm says:

    The excerpt on BoingBoing highlights to me what is almost a non-problem. Half of life is about finding ways to say “no” to people, sometimes politely, sometimes bluntly. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, you’re lacking an essential survival skill.

    I did, against my better judgment, accept a Facebook friend request from the beautiful entrepreneur with whom I exchanged five words at someone else’s party. The outcome was predictable: two exchanges of “how do you know X?” later it became clear that she had no idea who I was. I’m guessing that she views Facebook as a business tool (which is probably why she’s wealthy and successful and I am not) and sees friend requests not as declarations of “friendship” but as a way of building a business network.

    The much more interesting problem is the one that this example – and some of the other problem cases described in the rest of Cory’s IW article – illustrate. Social networking services don’t currently provide a way to partition your networks. In real life, you have a social network of friends (probably several, actually), social networks of colleagues, and so on. Sometimes someone who belongs to one network will ‘cross over’ (a colleague becomes a friend, you introduce your buddy from the motorcycle gang to your pals from the needlework circle), but they don’t do so until you’re sure that they won’t be horrified by the sight of your crazy friends.

    Social networks need to allow at least as much fine control as you have in real life (there are some interesting challenges here for the ‘open social graph’ folks). Until they do, maybe the best way is to use different platforms to do the partitioning. That could even give you a graceful way to soften a refusal: tell your boss “Oh, my Facebook account is kind of a mess … but I’d really like to have you as a contact on Linked-In.”

  30. Michael R. Bernstein says:

    Cory, your ‘fax’ analogy missed a point: Junk faxes. The value of a network also declines in proportion to it’s abuse (see also: spam).

  31. 1adam12 says:

    There’s this word I use to keep this problem to a minimum. It’s called “no,” and some other long-lost friends have used it to refuse my friend requests too.

  32. nicoduka says:

    The practical demonstration through the facts is that, even being able to argue that the mechanisms that are in Facebook aims to develop an embryonic stage, advertising when we receive walk by this social network is pure rotation general completely generic, lacking context, for anything based on personalized information or preferences of any kind, and with potential for conversion close to absolute zero. If you sell through metric CPC (cost per click), you will come across some very low clickthrough ratios, because users are not going to Facebook in search mode, but to socialize and display information about their friends, acquaintances and contacts. What remains, clearly, is what we all know: CPM (cost per thousand impressions), with a price much lower and metric well known long ago. To not insignificant, but unable to justify the unjustifiable: an assessment of Facebook as that discussed lately. Yes, things are worth what someone is not mentally alienated willing to pay for them, but from there to fifteen billion dollars justified by the alleged advertising revenues, goes a step very, very long. I like Facebook, use it, I think it has established new and interesting ways to compete with models based on openness, but neither has become (as it actually happened to me with other services) in an important part of my life online, or I feel much less an alleged valuation based on the amount that a third party with an interest very different from the acquisition, to ensure the exclusivity of a contract advertising, it could pay for a small percentage of the company.

    Bye

    _____________________
    Submited by : Caballos

  33. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Boing X (31), you left out the part about getting off your lawn.

  34. vik says:

    What if there were two tiers of friends – something like ‘friends’ and ‘close friends’. You choose who are your close friends, but only you know who they are – from your friends perspectives, they do not know if they are close or normal/distant. Then have the apps be able to choose all friends or close friends, or ignore/deprioritise things from distant friends. Hell, you could even create an entire spectrum like this (or keep it discrete)

  35. Halloween Jack says:

    Mostly, I’m just sick of having to re-learn and re-configure yet another type of account. I’ve been using LJ for several years, and I’m still using crappy icons that I made in Microsoft Paint. And now, if I want to use Facebook, I have to install apps each time someone decides to send me one of those things, each with its own list of permissions… nuts to that.

  36. Adventure Books of Seattle says:

    If Facebook partners up with any more of their patently ridiculous outside applications, they will collapse under their own weight.

    Heck, they are already at that point now …

  37. haineux says:

    No, what will kill FaceBook are the apps.

    I am sick to death of being super-poked, movie-compared, attacked by zombies, vampires, ninjas, robots, pirates, and monkeys. I do not want my brains gamed. I don’t have a million dollars, so I don’t want to compare how I’d spend it with my friends. (Besides which, I’d give it to my money manager, and do what s/he said. Exciting game.)

    I came to Facebook because I found old, lost friends. These friends came to Facebook, apparently, for the same reason. Now we’re all being super-friend-spammed and not paying attention as hard as we possibly can.

    Ugh. Luckily, I can ignore Facebook, just like I ignore Friendster, Orkut, MySpace, and all the ones before it. But without me ogling FaceBook, how are they going to make the money off the ad impressions? I suspect the advertisers will soon figure out that only really bored youngsters are poking at every app to come down the pike, and if they HAD money, they’d spend it becoming un-bored in some other way. (Or perhaps on Ritalin.)

  38. Lars Haeh says:

    For me, social networking sites have always been for people I actually know and actively socialize with. I keep the list short and actively prune it, removing those I am no longer in contact with. If need be, I can always use the traditional routes of contacting someone whom I rarely communicate with.

    For the networking aspect of it, I can either go through friend’s lists, or use the groups. Groups work great for work associates, old school mates and clubs I belong to. There is no need to fill your list with everyone you know: I don’t need the people from my moped enthusiast’s group seeing the pictures form my friends birthday, nor would they care. If I want to show them a moped wiring diagram I dug up, then I can send it to the group and not bore my regular friends with it.

    The only reason to have a 1000+ friends list is if you are an artist using it to promote your work. Those I know with these multitudinous lists, however, usually have a separate, personal list.

  39. craigambrose says:

    I’d been thinking about this issue for a while, but this article finally spurred me to get off my bum and write about my ideas on it. I’ve been experimenting with modeling non-binary by getting the site itself to compute what users do with each other, rather than just asking the users who they are friends with.

    I’d welcome some feedback on my article:

    Social networking with non-binary relationships

  40. David Cake says:

    For me, one of the big problems is that it has only one kind of relationship, and it calls it friendship. So, people I was on a board with, people I met while wearing only a kilt at Burning Man, people I went to high school with, and family members all get lumped in as ‘friend’s. Its only the relentless superficiality of Facebook that saves it from the horrors of, say, Orkut, which actively encouraged you to have your business contacts on the same account you used for flirtation.

    One of the few long term survivors in the social networking world seems to be LinkedIn – at least, its the only one that still has people joining it years after the initial rush, and I think part of that is its effort to carefully maintain that separation of roles – its for business use, and adding someone doesn’t mean they are a ‘friend’, just a contact.

  41. kraquehaus says:

    I have been saying for a while that there is a bubble and the bubble will burst, but it won’t be industry wide like last time. The Social Network Crazeâ„¢ we are seeing today is going to die, albeit a slightly less fiery death than I would like.

    Part of the reason is what Cory goes into here. Another part, which is slightly specific to Facebook, are the apps. I blogged my feelings about the Facebook apps:

    blog.kraquehaus.com/240977.html

    (We’ll see if I can imbed a link into my comments…)

    Another reason why I think the craze will die is because social networking sites are much more about fashion than about technology. This is a very important point. The users are fickle. If it isn’t cool anymore, then they will trash it and move along. I think that this is much more of a reason as to why people have moved from one service to the next. It has much more to do with following the Cool Kid Migrationâ„¢ than it has to do with social morals and etiquette. A service becomes SO popular that the Cool Kidsâ„¢ have to find a new way to set themselves apart. Once MySpace has gotten too popular, then they must relocate in order to retain their “bleeding edge” social stature.

    Part of what drives the Cool Factorâ„¢ is indeed technology, but that is merely a footnote.

    Right now the cool thing to do is to leave MySpace. “MySpace is SO last season! OMG!” Soon Facebook will no longer be the “new black”.

    Once this trend starts to pick up momentum and is seen by the people holding onto the dollar bills, things will change. Social networks will only be useful as leased user bases rather than these current ridiculous purchase evaluations we are seeing. ($15 billion for Facebook?!?)

    Social network sites, if they “succeed”, will see a huge spike for a good amount of time, then they will plummet back down to real world numbers once people have moved on. I think the key for long term sustainability and value for these companies would be best delivered via niche marketing rather than global appeal.

    Take Linkedin for example. They are a social network, but one that delivers a very specific need without a lot of fluff. They might not end up being the huge behemoths that others try to be, but they will have a much more realistic and steady incline with much more user retention in the long term.

    As a graphic designer who is also a member of multiple bands, I will be near the top of the list of people who will be ecstatic when MySpace dies down enough to where I no longer must touch it for promotions.

    Another problem: Banner Ads

    Here is another problem I stumbled upon while thinking about this comment: The business model of ad based revenue is driving these online applications (these social networks are applications, after all) towards bad user experiences.

    The “user experience” I am referring to is purely with regard to the UI of the sites. The companies are delivering UIs based on heightening page reloads and page views in order to ramp up profits. This reward system does not feed a positive return for good UI.

    What I would like to see is this: Take the ads out of the system and use a subscription based model.

    I realize this most likely won’t happen since there is just SO much money in advertising, but it would be a model geared towards obtaining better user experiences which would in turn obtain healthier long term revenue.

    This is how LiveJournal operates and I gladly pay every year for a subscription. (Now if LJ would only update their system with better functionality…….but I digress!)

    This has nothing to do with my disdain for banner ads. I have no problem with a site showing me advertising. Actually, if a site employs very good advertising such that they are showing me ads for products I actually want, then we both win. My point is entirely about modifying the reward system within the business models.

    In summation, The Social Network is Dead, Long Live the Social Network!

  42. ecobore says:

    I have no problem at all with removing ‘friends’ from my list – like the young teenage sons of friends etc. Some fbers are obsessed with having as many friends as possible – well that just seems crazy. The thing to do is just to clear the list out occasionally. You can always say later ‘oh, I must have deleted you by accident, I get confused with the interface!!!’

  43. zFactor says:

    The solution is so retardedly simple that I’m shocked no one has patented it: Take a page from real life and give users the ability to create multiple “views” of their profile. For each “friend,” specify which views they are allowed to see, and for each new bit of content you add, specify where it belongs.

    So, let’s say I create 3 views:
    1 – work/academic
    2 – family
    3 – drunken debauchery

    The general public and creepy guy from work can only see 1, mom and dad can see 1 and 2, and my closest friends can see 1, 2, and 3. Content generated by your friends (pokes, walls, photos, etc) are restricted to whatever view that friend is coming from, so your wild friends don’t accidentally bust up your Chaucer reading group.

    Just like real life, none of your so-called-friends know which view they’re getting, so there’s no awkwardness. They just think you’re boring or don’t post much.

  44. kraquehaus says:

    ZFACTOR:

    This is already being done with some sites. I know that LJ has this function and I assume others do as well. Although LJ is a blog, it does have some “social network” qualities.

    That beings said, I completely agree that most these sites need some ACL functionality and it is asinine that they have yet to employee rich ACL functionality.

    I believe Facebook has a very low feature version that lets you set on/off viewability of portions of your profile, but they only section it based on “not a friend, friend, friend network” rather than letting you create sub sectors of “friends”.

    A badly needed feature for any social network site.

  45. pw201 says:

    While in general I think Facebook are amusingly amateurish (stuff randomly doesn’t load or work, and there’s the time I had a message between two people who I didn’t know in both my Inbox and Sent Items on FB: alas it wasn’t particularly juicy), they’ve gone some way to doing something about this.

    Facebook does let you create a single sub-set of friends who can only see your “limited profile”. You could remove your photos from the set of things in your limited profile if you have embarrassing ones you don’t want the boss to see. They don’t give you the fine-grained control of LiveJournal’s friends filters, though.

    If social networking sites are to survive the current fad for them, an etiquette for using them will have to emerge. Someone who teaches at Cambridge told me their freshers are already getting advice about Internet usage (don’t call your tutor “dude” in an email, don’t try to friend them on FB). It’s going to have to be OK not to friend everyone you’ve ever met. And the people who assumed that any friend of their friend was also a member of the Burning Man polybdsmfurry collective are just stupid, and that’s not Facebook’s fault.

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