Keep Your Friends Close
Paul Shen

The whole concept of friend referrals is something that’s always frustrated me. I’ve never been the type of person that wants, or could even attain a superfluous amounts of friends or followers on social media. Personally, I feel that it’s contrived and fake to have all those people that you don’t really know as friends, especially, if all of your friends on Facebook are granted access to your profile and all your pictures. I value privacy too much and honestly believe that a person is too complex to be analyzed and put in categorizes by any sort of algorithm. I’m not saying that it’s impossible for an algorithm to get something right, but it’s silly to think that I am the person that it says I am.

I think that all of this depends on the type of person you are. If you're the type that cares about being “popular” on social media and having lots of “friends”, then there is value in adding friends of friends and public figures and random people. I’m the type of person who doesn't feel comfortable publishing content to random people that I have no relationship with and that I don’t care about. The friend of friend algorithm, in many ways, diminishes the value of and rarity of friendship. Although, a person might be given more and better opportunities to meet new people that could later become great friends, the majority of people couldn't care less about who they’re adding, but more about the number of friends/followers next to their name that, for some reason in our society, denotes social status.