A couple of days ago, I tried something that left me literally nauseated. I tried to rank my Facebook friends.
The idea occurred to me after someone who I’d completely forgotten about posted something for the first time in years. I realized that though I have nearly 800 friends on Facebook, I interact with maybe 70 or 80 on a regular basis, if that. My guess is that this proportion is true for most people on the site, regardless of friend count. It’s inevitable when your friend list spans years and possibly all your life.
So I devised four tiers of friendship, in descending order of daily relevance, each with subcategories. I got about 250 deep into my friends list before a distinct feeling crept up — the one I get from eating too much of a favorite food. The feeling of purpose giving way to queasiness.
After enough names filled my list, I began to feel like I shouldn’t be ranking people. These were human beings with feelings, families and memories. People I like very much, and here I was reducing them to categories. Before abandoning the idea altogether, I chopped off the top tiers and focused on finding the most obscure friend I had. But even that seemed cheap, so I blanked out the list altogether.
I should have learned from MySpace’s top eight spaces.