Poston 1Melissa PostonProfessor BoltonENG 10111 March 2013Is Facebook Really Friendly?Hal Niedzviecki’s essay, “Facebook in a Crowd”points out the relationship betweenonline friends and real friends. This past summer, Niedzviecki signed on to Facebook andrealized that he was up to almost 700 online friends. Although he was proud and quite impressedwith his increasing number, Niedzviecki was uneasy about it as well. He realized that many ofthe people on his increasing friend list were simply connections, acquaintances or even strangers.He and many of his friends had fallen out of contact with each other for the usual reasons suchjobs, families that limit their social time, or distance.Niedzviecki was able to relate as he also hada 2-year old child, was a workaholic, and he simply liked to be left alone. He came to realize thatthough he had around 700 friends on Facebook, he actually had fewer friends than ever that hecould actually hang out with. So,he decided to have a Facebook party to see how many of these“friends” would show up to an actual event. Niedzviecki created the “event” and invited all 700of his friends. Fifteen of them said that they would be attending, 60 said maybe, the rest eitherignored the event or said no that they would not be attending. On the day of the party,Niedzviecki waited to gather with his friends and to meet some of his new friends. He showered,shaved, and dressed in a favorite outfit in preparation for the exciting event. As time passed, hewaited and waited. Finally, after a while, onewoman showed up named Paula. He was quiteembarrassed, though he tried to pretend that he was not dismayed. They talked for quite sometime as he kept looking for someone else to show up. Finally, after making small talk for a
Poston 2while, she had to leave. He decided to wait a while longer in hopes that someone else wouldshow up. Sadly, no one did. The next day, Niedzviecki realizes that “definitely attending”means “maybe” and “maybe attending” means “likely not.” Being that all but one did not attendhis party, Niedzviecki concludes that “people want to hang out with you…They just don’t havethe time” (960). I agree with Niedzviecki that online friends are not always real friends, eventhough many people just add mutual friends, acquaintances, connections or even strangers toincrease their numbers; also Facebook or other online social networksdoesn’t allow people tohave the personal interaction with another person.Many people add colleagues, connections, mutual friends and even strangers just toincrease their numbers. Some people think of it as a competition and they do not really care whoit is that they add.Niedzviecki states, “I thought to myself, absurdly proud of how manycyberpals, connections, acquaintances, and even strangers I didmanaged to sign up” (958).Hewas very excited about having close to 700 friends, but he didn’t realize until later that he hadnot kept up with anyone because they have been so busy. In the end, he realized that and he onlyhad a few close friends that he could socialize with.While adding people to increase their numbers will create the illusion of a wide circle offriends, it is often very difficult to maintain a personal relationship with others on Facebook. Itis too easy for a person to become disconnected if they simply rely on social media to keep upwith friends. Also, if you accept or request friendships from strangers or mutual friends, no onereally knowswho the personis. The only way they know the person is from their blogs andphotos. Lindsay Adler, writer of Facebook; a PSA Journal, says, “Your Facebook profile is yourpersonal presence on Facebook where you share photos of yourself, updates on your life, shareyour thoughts, and connect with your friends” (web).So if someone only knows a person from
Poston 3their Facebook page, then they really don’t know that person. This is why Niedzviecki planned aparty to meet his online friends.The reason Niedzviecki prepared a gathering was to get to know his new companions andmutual friends, but only one person came out of 700 and that provides us with the reasoning thatonline friends are not really a person’s friend. A true friend cares about what someone puts onFacebook and tries to get together and hangout. A lot of people online abuse Facebook for dramaand stuff that is not necessary, and do not use it for the purpose it was created for, like keepingup with old friends and chatting.Hal Niedzviecki author of “Facebook in a Crowd,”tells us about his experience with hisonline friends and how he decided not to depend on them. Just because it is a Facebook frienddoes not mean they are a real friend. I agree with Niedzviecki’s article because online friends arenot really friends; people like to see who can get the highest number by adding who ever, andalso don’t have a personal connection to get to know someone new.
Poston 4Work CitedAdler, Lindsay. “Facebook.” PSA Journal 77.6 (2011). 17. Academic OneFile.Web. 6 Mar. 2013Niedzviecki, Hal. “Facebook in a Crowd.” The Norton Field Guide To Writing.2ndEd. BullockRichard. W.W. Norton & Co, 2006. Print