National Facebook UnFriend Day is Wishful Thinking
Jimmy Kimmel is fighting back against fake friends. Doubtful he will have a large army behind him.
A few days ago Jimmy Kimmel asked his audience, “Remember five years ago when no one had Facebook and you didn’t know what the guy you took high school biology with was having for lunch? Remember how that was fine? Let’s go back to that.”
Kimmel proceeded to announce his declaration of “National Unfriend Day,” to be held on November 17th. Unlike our conscience telling us to fully delete our Facebook account after 4 hours of late night voyeurism, Kimmel only suggests that everyone delete the people they can not, in honesty, consider friends.
Either Kimmel is completely misunderstanding the purpose of Facebook or he’s just doing this to capitalize on the media frenzy over all things Facebook (this article not excepting). More important than removing friends would seem to be change the facade that Facebook still puts on.
Started in 2004 by the now infamous Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook was invented to connect friends and family. That paradigm quickly shifted as many realized larger opportunities and thus Facebook has now become a utility rather than just an online location where you and your “friends” can interact. With its recent initiative in the midterm elections, Facebook’s role in elections, however overblown the the data on its effectiveness may be, it only goes to show how Facebook is transcending the mere connection of “friends.”
As much as Kimmel and I may hate the way people feel the need to use Facebook as an online diary of useless narcissism, he is forgetting that Facebook can be anything you want it to be—whether that be stay in touch with extended family, sell your newest kitchenware or just notify a large amount of people about your latest accomplishments (I will of course be posting this article on my Facebook).
The bottom line is that Facebook has reached a critical mass, and for all the threats of exodus (including from new startup Exodus), it’s highly unlikely that anyone will take Kimmel up on his “Unfriend Day.”