Have you ever given pause before doing a slightly off color status update in Facebook because you knew your whole group of ‘friends’ would be able to read it? Google+ has solved this conundrum with the ability to send messages to different ‘circles’. A Pew Research study found that the average Facebook user has 229 friends. Since my friend total (as well as my 5’8″ stature) is about average, I decided that now would be a good time to review that friend list, and devise a few different circles to use as I migrate over to Google+.
Too many circles would make the whole social networking thing a bit unwieldy so I decided upon the five shown in the graph below:
Here is how I defined my circles:
1. Friends. These are true ‘friends’ in the sense that they are in your ‘circle’ of trust. A good benchmark here is ‘would I invite them to my wedding’? Friends in this regard represented only 30% of my friend total.
2. Childhood: These are folks that I grew up with, many of whom are now my friend through a sense of mutual voyeurism. With Facebook we no longer have to wonder ‘what ever happened to’ unless they still are not one of the 750 million people who joined Facebook. This group, surprisingly, is as big as my friends group: 30%. Unless I have made contact with them or found myself enjoying their posts on Facebook, most of these folks aren’t likely to follow me to Google+.
3. Acquaintances: These are largely like the group in 2 above but these are folks who are a little more recent in my life. In some cases we were former band mates but haven’t hung out in a long time, so we really couldn’t be considered ‘friends’. Still, folks can migrate out of this group into friends. Probably not a big deal to promote to any of the above 3 groups.
4. CoWorkers: I’ve had only one job in the last 5 years, the same timeframe during which FB took off, so most of the folks in this bucket are my current coworkers. This is a group that you may not want seeing all your posts, even if you liked them enough (or they you) to become FB friends in the first place. Folks can graduate from here into the first group. Or not. But for the sake of confidentiality, I’m thinking of keeping them in a separate group.
5. Family: Anybody who is related to me, no matter how distant. You could have a few categories here I suppose. Family is always welcome, into Google+ or otherwise.
So, I’m ready to embrace Google+, even if it means I won’t have as many friends. . . .