Ask Ty...January 7 [The Facebook Hard Cap Question]

It must be Tuesday Wednesday, Middlespace Cadets, because I'm answering your questions

Q: Ty,
What is it with this kooky 100 "friend" Facebook cap of yours? Why are you deleting people? That is not what sane people do, it's Facebook you mope!

You so totally over-think everything all the time.

OK, I'll play along then.... Here's my question for "Ask Ty...": Do you tell the person that you delete that you deleted them?

But most importantly why am I on a Facebook "warning" status. I can't tolerate living in fear!

- Concerned Ty Hardaway Facebook "friend"

Ty: Good question and an even better observation, CTHFF.

I actually thought pretty long and hard on this one and decided if I ever wanted to have a modicum of interaction with any of these "friends" from past and distant past, I'd have to cap it somewhere. 100 is the absolute maximum (and probably exceeds what is manageable for me) but there it is.

You can all stop reading right here if you like. Have a good day. The interwebs loves you.

I probably have no more than about a half-dozen friends in that eye to eye, smell their breath, spill their coffee real life. I know, six friends, huh? I'm totally the kind of loser who will have to join The Friends of the Friendless or some shit if not some crazed homeless guy on the train. But on Facebook, I could have dozens and dozens of friends! I could be the cool kid I've never been and have so many friends!! **SCKEerrrchhh!!** But what is a friend, anyhow?


Are we the first generation to exponentially expand the boundaries of individual and collective memory? That is, the interwebs has allowed us to remember more, connect better, and document it all...down to the tweet. With real people. With virtual people. People we once knew as friends or acquaintances or never met become salient. In comparison, what does your grandmother remember of her high school experience? Or college? What does she remember about some niche activity that she participated in at the age of 21. Some things, the big stuff sure, but we now have the ability to uncover, recover, sustain, and expand upon even the most mundane minutiae. Basically we all become celebrities. With friends!!!

Ty: Hello interwebs. It's me. Ty.

Interwebs: Hi, Ty. I know it's you, I'm the interwebs. But, alas, I'm busy interwebbing right now, what is it?

Ty: I'm good, right?

Interwebs: Yep. You're cool. l8r Ty.

Maybe it is a touch or even totally counter-intuitive to my 100 friend cap, but it's still a little old-school, and sensitive, of me to want to connect deeper than, "me too," or "Ty ate a peach." Dunno. So I decided to not dilute what I can offer in return to what others offer me. There are intellectual underpinnings to my OCD. Or maybe I'm just fucking nuts. Dunno.

One huge value of the Facebooks, in particular, is the weird satisfaction I get of making 20 year leaps. That is, finding and--even if it is on an iceberg's tip level--participate in the life of someone I haven't seen, known, or even heard about in like a generation. You get to peek through weird keyholes and see their pets, their furniture, what they eat, what they like, and what they look like now. Weirdly cool, huh? It's basically a better 20 year reunion work diversion satisfaction time machine.

Another significant value, for me, is being able to see how people have changed vs. how we imagined them to have stayed the same as we knew them in our hearts and minds. Not just how they look now (unimportant after five minutes), but what their values are, and how they represent themselves to people they may have only shared some experiences with 10, 15, and 20 years in the past. Are they still the cool kids? Are they still creative? What kind of work do they do? Who do they know? Am I better? That kind of stuff that's NEVER DISCUSSED on Facebook but I'm betting everybody processes it.



"...for me, it's such a great way to know what's going on with someone without the phone calls/e-mails that I generally don't have time for (or the desire to make/write). if my friends post pictures of a trip, i have a nice feeling knowing that i know what she/he is up to. never makes me feel like a voyeur b/c i feel like these are things we'd tell each other if we had the time."

Agreed. But in order for me to have that nice feeling (quality), I have to have some control over the quantity (the hard cap). The hard cap is set at 100 because I'm not a "friend whore" (lying) or selling a product (lying) or need that sort of emotional satisfaction (lying). I believe somewhere that I actually want to have some level of interaction with everyone I've knighted as "friend" (not lying). I know, I'm always so hard and anti-social and 'down with people' on the surface, but I'm a huge softie inside, I guess that's why the kids used to call me "Oreo" in school.

Okay, but now we get to the important part of the sermon, brothas and sistas, the question that tests us; tests our morals and tests our values.CTHFF also asked, "Do you tell the person that you delete that you deleted them?"

Uhhh, gee, CTHFF. Uhhh.... No, I guess I don't. Wow! Am I a total jerk? I am, huh? But I don't see it being at all easy to go, "Hey, er, Bob. Gee, I'm sorta deleting you from being my Facebook friend, OK? BFF! L8r g8r!"

But I have the answer, because I'm "Ask Ty..." The answer may very well lie in the customizable mail-merge emailing form-note. To wit (in haughty, high-pitched British accent):

"Dearest Facebook "Friend" [insert mail-merge field firstname], I regret to inform you that I must now "de-friend" you on the Facebook social Web site. We don't really keep in touch that much anymore and, honestly, we never shared that much [insert mail-merge field sharedactivity]. I have a 100 friend hard cap and I need to add someone who I believe to be more Facebook "friend"-worthy than you. I can only process 100 Facebook "friends", you know?

Please know that it's not you, it's me. I'm on an existential journey. And also know that it hurts me more than it hurts you. Goodbye, I do not like your hat!

Your former Facebook "friend",

- ty hardaway

And because I'm using your question, CTHFF, I am upgrading your Facebook friend status from "warning" to "caution". ji w r bff ffl! :)

Just a guess.


Ask Ty... Archive: [clicky]