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Life is better with Facebook friends around

I hope we can still be friends.

I’m speaking of my 430 Facebook friends, all of whom I am happyto know to some degree and glad to be associated with on the socialnetworking site.

Lately, though, I’ve noticed several people announcing plans todelete their friends from their Facebook associations. ApparentlyI’ve survived these culling sessions, or maybe I just haven’tnoticed that I’ve been deleted from someone’s cyber-sociallife.

I’m not really sure of the logic behind deleting someone from afriends list, other than the deleted person just may not rank highenough in priority to be cared enough about. I’ve heard Facebookfriends being described as “second- and third-tier” friends, youknow, those you don’t see very often, have lost in-person contactwith over the years, or those who are on your list because theywere “a friend of a friend.”

Like many others, I’ve found Facebook to be a valuable tool forwork use.

With seemingly more and more people going to cellphones only -and therefore no number listed in the phone book – Facebook hasbecome a way for getting in touch with people. I may not have adirect connection to the person I’m trying to reach, but a link toa mutual friend has worked in a pinch.

On one occasion, when needing to set up an interview, I”friended” him because I was friends with his wife. He accepted myrequest and the interview was set up for the next day.

While I have never deleted any of my 430 Facebook friends, Imust admit I’m not keeping up with every thought, word or idea theydecide to share.

Rather than delete friends altogether as some people do, I’vejust hit the “hide” button. This handy tool can remove from mysight single posts or all posts by a particular person.

I use it very sparingly, but it is done. I have some criteriafor its implementation.

Although Facebook serves a great role in my work, I’mnot too interested in hearing every detail of someoneelse’s work day. Hide.

I’ve got several friends who like to post random phrases thatreally make no sense in any context I can imagine.

One friend the other day even posted “fully on random.” Threepeople “liked” it. Me? Hide.

Health updates on loved ones are of concern for me … providedyou’re not in Timbuktu.

That distant friend from high school, who now lives in Iowa, andwants to give regular updates on his brother-in-law’s appendectomy?Hide … in a hurry.

And finally – whether I agree or not – I tend not to engage inpolitical rants or similar postings.

There’s an objectivity I strive to maintain because of my job,but I also don’t find a whole of lot of use for “birther”discussions about Obama or for whatever anti-Bush sentiment therewas at the time. Hide.

Anyone who posts inspirational stuff or jokes is pretty muchsafe with me. We could all use one or the other most days.

As I said, friend deletions aren’t for me when the hide buttonworks just as well. You never know when you’re going to need afriend.

That’s all for now.

Write to Matthew Coleman at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven MS39602, or send e-mail to mcoleman@dailyleader.com.