Over the past few weeks I’ve been growing increasingly distant from the land of social media. Not for the business side of things as related to Nick Hammond Design, but more so on my personal profiles. After having deleted my coveted Facebook account, I immediately felt as though I was more in control and even able to see myself being happier throughout the day. That being said, it’s hard to see these benefits when you’re still so adamantly connected to everyone at all times of the day.
After only the first short days of being off of Facebook I began to get the look as if I was crazy for having deleted my account. Friends would keep asking me why I had gotten off and what made me decide to do so as if it was something that couldn’t be done. Well, I’ve been almost completely off of my personal Facebook for the past several weeks and an idea sparked the other day that I thought was worth pursuing.
We’re so protective of what our social scene is online that I wanted to see how far I could push the boundaries. Being the idiot that I am and messing with a friend’s account, while he was still logged on of course, I began to add as many friends on his account as I could. Overnight 12 new friends had accepted the invites, most of which he had never really talked to very much. I thought to myself, “If this amount of people could be added, as what Facebook considers a friend, in less than a night, then how many could be added in a longer period of time?”
Quick back story: after looking into some data on friendship I found a majority of articles pointing to a study done in 2006 by the American Sociological Review. It “found that people in the U.S. had fewer friends than they’d had 20 years prior. In 1985, the average American claimed to have three close confidants…but by 2004, the average American had only two close confidants. One in four people reported having no one to talk to at all.” That study had been done in 2006, so the number must be even more staggering here in the year 2011. And how is this possible? If we can have in upwards of 1,000 friends on Facebook, what is causing this?
So lets take these two ideas of together and do a little experiment. How many “friends” can I get in what amounts of time? Will there be some sort of plateau or limit before people begin to stop adding me on Facebook? Does having absolutely zero connection to the person that I am adding as a friend stop them from creating the connection in the world of social media online?
Add me as a friend at facebook.com/NicholasRyanHammond and lets find out! Suggest me to your friends and drop a comment on my wall.
After all, we are the designers of our future.