Right now I am sitting here perusing the various tags, status updates, online games, virtual gifts, and other such items being mentioned in the "live feed" portion of my, gulp, Facebook page. I started using this service around 2008 when I grew tired of the visual assaults I endured at the hands of that other website, Myspace.com. By comparison Myspace allows more customization and a more "mine" feel in regards to social networking but I like the cleaner look of Facebook. During my time using this social networking tool I have acquired many "friends" from the beer world. People that genuinely I wouldn't expect to go out for walk with or put together a game of three on three flag football with. Still its nice to see the authors of what you consume, thanking you with an "add".
Unfortunately there has also been some interesting results in regards to what people use as a criteria in order to "confirm" you. It’s this experience that has lead me to understand that in a way social networking and confirming someone is a lot like real life. In the real world you have parties that you attend and meet with friends and those that share your interests. As with all parties and other such gatherings you have people that you enjoy dialog with and those that realistically you have grown tired of, or their reputation has preceded them before they even have a chance to correct that impression.
Those that use social networking sites like Facebook or Myspace often make either the headlong, carefree, decision; or create a precise definition of what a friend is. But like in the real world, whether you confirm or deny someone into your "friends" list says much about you in regards to how you manage your life.
Recently I have started to ponder if social networking is something that really needs to be taken seriously or if this is another fad in the life of the internet. Eventually we will either collaborate to our own personal benefits or wither away from such websites and I think that this is just another step towards that. I have experienced rejection a few times, and I do not take the rejections to mean anything other than one person's definition of "social networking" and much like those previously mentioned people at those parties, my reputation has preceded me.