Wednesday, January 12th, 2011...2:05 am

The Friend Zones

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I have become very aware of the deeper meaning of Facebook friends. If you had asked me a few weeks ago how many friends I had I would have had no clue. But once I became conscious of my number I started to check on other people.

I searched for a Facebook App that would show me the amount of friends for each of my friends. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find one. So I spent a few hours messing around on Facebook and checking on friend’s friends.

It was a social experiment. I learned some interesting stuff.

According to Facebook statistics the average member has 130 friends. But of the 150 friends that I checked the average amount of friends was actually 759. Maybe it’s true that Long Island Jews really do all know each other.

The maximum amount of friends that Facebook allows for a member profile is 5000. I guess Zuckerberg’s cronies have figured out the human brain would explode once it has to deal with so much bullshit. Outside of a few quasi-celebrities, my most popular friend was a guy I know from the digital world, Philip James, who is the founder of a wine website called Snooth. He has over 3160 buddies. The top ten on my list included many of the most social, outgoing and well-connected people that I know like my friend Marni (1712). I mentioned to my colleague Jeremy Goldberg, who often refers to himself in meetings as the “Human LinkedIn” that he was near the top of my list. He turned to me, smiled, and said “1806 baby!”.

Brian Litvack has 482 friends. If this was a race (which it is) I have a few things working against me. I’ve developed a policy where I never “friend” another person. I just wait for them to friend me. If I don’t know or like the person who has requested to be my friend I will neither accept or reject their request. Instead I’ll just leave it with the other 62 people in “friend request” purgatory. Looking at this list of potential friends is one of my favorite things to do on Facebook. Alas, I’m by no means the most social/friendly/extroverted wolf in the pack. On some crazy, abstract level this digital world really does tie back into real life.

After completing my extensive research and analyzing the data I’ve also decided to create personality profiles based on the number of Facebook friends one has. Now, instead of trying to figure out your deal I just need a three digit number to inherently understand who you are.

(Note: This really only applies to people between the ages of 23-39. Anyone who is younger is playing in a whole different ballgame as they’re basically square in the middle of the Facebook Generation. If you’re over 40 congrats on having a Facebook profile at all!)


Not On Facebook
You are a fascinating species and will one day be studied by biological anthropologists. I’m not sure if it’s a blissful unaffectedness, a luddite mentality or a privacy paranoia that keeps you away from the biggest social invention since the high five.

I do find it interesting that you can actually exist in society (quite well might I add) without a Facebook presence. Almost makes me think the whole Facebook thing is a big waste of time. Makes it quite clear that Facebook needs to become more of a utility if Zuck is ever going to really take over the world.

You are in an inevitable fight against time. But I applaud you. I’m curious to learn how you’ve filled your brain in the countless hours you would have wasted on Facebook if you were part of the revolution.

Less Than 300 Friends
It’s like you are here but you are not. Either you’re not into Facebook, not into people, or haven’t figured it out yet. Either/or – something’s not right. You’re missing out on life and you don’t even realize it. Please find somebody very social and confirm that’s not who you want to be.

Have you not yet figured out that when the term friends is modified by the adjective Facebook it just means dudes you recognize or have had at least one meaningless conversation with in your life?

Although, the FB average is 130, only 5% of the people I checked had less than 300 friends. It’s almost hard to join Facebook without quickly hitting this benchmark.

300 – 665 Friends
You are normal, average, mediocre. It’s hard to pinpoint your exact personality, but there’s a chance you might not be crazy. In addition, it seems like you’re using Facebook in a healthy way. Obsessed but not life-altering obsessed.

666 Friends
You’re a mensch.

667 – 1000 Friends
You tell yourself that you know everyone. Hey, you are pretty damn popular so congrats. Secretly, you believe you are really popular and pooh-pooh really, really popular people as social climbers. You would never admit to caring about your number of FB friends…but you do. If you fall in this category, you’re telling yourself (as you read this) that you can’t help it that so many people friend you. It probably has something to do with your natural charm, good looks and easy disposition.

1000+ Friends
You’re quite the social butterfly. You take pride in knowing everybody and being well known. Facebook was made for you and you are unapologetic about how much you love it. When you walk into the room (real life or digital) you want to own it. You know exactly how many facebook friends that you have and are proud of it. Actually, you have tendonitis in your ring finger from accepting all these friends. When you go to the doctor to have your finger checked you friended the secretary, the doctor and the valet guy. You make comments out loud like “how do I even know that person” deep down knowing you met them waiting on line at Uniqlo and just had to connect forever with them. You watch TMZ….while you check Facebook. You wish you were on TMZ. You look at people with less friends with you as losers (but in a really sympathetic way). Let’s face it. You’re killing it at life!