Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Operation Re-Connect

I have 261 friends. At least that's what Facebook tells me. Somehow that's hard to believe. If I have that many friends, how come when I throw a party I'm always scared no one will show up? I have 261 friends!

Now, I also have friends that have upwards of 500, 600, 700+ friends. Where does that put me on the popularity scale? I think 261 would fill a room nicely should I die and they all show up to pay their respects, however, it makes me a hermit compared to the guy that has 976 friends. Should I feel bad about this? Is this an indication that my years of focused Ironman training and declined RSVP'ing to dinners, bars, parties, weekends away (and on and on) have resulted in social suicide? Considering that of my 261 friends, I have maybe three that I speak to regularly (one of which I live with), I think having 261 friends is quite the success.

I wonder about those that have say 700+ friends. What do you do with them all? I have maybe a night or two out a week visiting various friends in varying social groups and I still haven't seen (I'd say) a majority of my friends in a dogs age. I'm a bad friend maybe? How do you keep up with 700 or more friends?

Then I started thinking, as with my recent efforts to de-clutter my life, it's time I started choosing quality over quantity when it comes to my relationships as well. It always struck me as odd when people would make a friend request via Facebook and then never follow up with as much as a "Hey.. How've ya been the last 10 years?" Sure it's fun to Facebook creep through their photos, but after the initial peruse through, you never really go back. I just think it's weird that even though we had enough interest in each other to connect, the effort / interest stops there.

Enter Operation: Re-Connect.

I've decided that I'm going to attempt to befriend (or re-friend) all my 261 friends. Some times I see their photos up in the side bars so I click on it, see what they've been up to, then send a message saying hello, or congratulations or "what's that all about?"or "do you know of a good real estate agent" or in one case "how do you get your body to twist like that?"... whatever might strike a conversation and result in at least one return message.

It's a very simple concept, although there are a few rules and qualification clarities to make:

- If you haven't spoken to them in more than two months, they qualify for Op: ReCon. Send them a message.
- Family must be contacted by phone. They're family. Seriously, pick up the phone.
- If you don't recognize them or have any idea how you know them, remove them from your friends list.
- If after much thought and several message drafts you can't think of one thing you would say to this person. Remove them.

So far, I've re-connected with a friend that finished the New York City marathon this year. A friend whom I haven't spoken to since grade 8 who just moved into the house across the street from the house I lived in at that time. Her new house in which I use to babysit the kids that lived there. I had a three or four time return convo going with someone now living in India and how life is so different for him now. I got an invite to stay with friends in England should I ever be on that side of the pond, plus some awesome advice about trails and new adventures to seek right here in my own BC backyard.

So far I've re-connected with 17 of my 261 friends. That only includes those that I have initiated conversation with (of people haven't spoken to in more than two months) and I am going to try and re-connect with all 261 of my friends before my birthday in March. There's no particular reason for that date, it's just that every goal needs a deadline and that one seems to be reasonable and one that I won't forget.

I'll try to send 3 messages a day (on average) which should get me to my goal on March 6th (depending on how my total number of friends fluctuates up or down). So either by randomly clicking on some one's status via the news feed, photos that appear in the sidebar or just working alphabetically through my friends list, I hope to re-friend my friends one by one taking pride in my quality 261 friends.

Never again will I introduce myself to someone at a party only to hear the response "uh.. yeah, I'm *Becky... we're friends on Facebook.."

*Some names may have been changed to protect individuals involved.

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