Think about how many friends do you have on Facebook? 500 hundred? A thousand? What about other social media you usually use? How many people are you following on Instagram? How many people are in your DMs on Twitter? In the article The Secret to Better Social Media? Fewer Friends, the author David Pierce discusses how too many friends, or pseudo-friends, has brought negative effects to your social media experience.
First, too many friends is a security risk. Your associations with these many friends could tell data collectors like Cambridge Analytica a lot about you and use these data at places you would not expect to.
Second, Robin Dunbar, the University of Oxford professor has tested that, a person can maintain a relationship with a maximum of 150 people at any given period of time. Therefore, too many friends on social media distract you from what you really care about.
I fully agree with Pierce’s concern that too many friends on social media being problematic. People care about privacy but they allow all these social media apps on their phones to have access to their contacts and locations. This action also exposes your contacts’ information to data collecting agencies, and the influence is a butterfly effect which relates to more and more people through the information from one person.
Also, among the hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, you probably only talk to 15-20 of them very often. Maybe 60% of your “friends” on social media you have not talked to them face-to-face or online for years.
As an after-effect of Facebook’s user data leakage, a lot of people have thought about giving up social media. However, it is not very likely for people in modern society to fully stay away from social media. If you are worried about privacy, why not start by deleting your “stranger-friends”?