Facebook-Friends-List.jpg
The social network is rolling out a new set of features that should make it easier to separate the close friends from the acquaintances. (Photo courtesy Facebook.com)

Weeding out your so-called "friends" with new Facebook features

It's happened to most of us. Someone you vaguely knew in high school sends you a Facebook friend request. So you accept it. Then a co-worker. And your second cousin. And a parent from your daughter's soccer team. And before you know it, you have hundreds of so-called friends. If you're like me, you don't have the heart to drop them. But you don't want them to see everything you post, either.

Luckily, Facebook is coming to the rescue.

The social network is rolling out a new set of features that should make it easier to separate the close friends from the acquaintances.

Listen to Rachel Belle details the new Facebook features with Ron and Don

You can control who makes the cut, but it will also create what it's calling "Smart Lists", which will automatically put your friends in groups like school, work, family, and where you live.

The goal is to make it easier to share only with people you want. It's a feature that borrows heavily from Google+, the fledgling competitor that lets you organize contacts into circles based on different criteria.

"It gets rid of the fear your boss will see you are partying when you called in sick, the idea is to protect you," says TBTL's Jen Andrews filling on 97.3 KIRO FM's Ross and Burbank Show.

But, in her view, the whole idea is absurd.

"What is the point? Why friend people you don't want to know who you don't want to know anything about you," Jen complains.

Listen to Jen Andrews questions so-called Facebook friends and why she broke up with the social network

The Ron & Don Show's Rachel Belle agrees. "I know every one of my Facebook friends," she told 97.3 KIRO FM's Ron & Don Show as she detailed the new Facebook features. It's a stark contrast to Ron and Don, who accepted anyone who asked until hitting a friend limit, (Facebook caps the number of friends a user can have at 5,000.)

But for most us, the biggest problems are the steady stream of You Tube videos, baby pictures, sickeningly cute kittens and check-in's from exotic places of people frolicking on a faraway beach that you are forced to view from your office cubicle.

The new features should help turn down the flow, because you can choose not only who's stuff you see, but how much of it.

And if you're still conflicted about who is a friend, an acquaintance or something else, you can always do what Jen did: Just quit. But Jen says it's not simple.

"Breaking up with Facebook is like breaking up with a real person. They don't make it easy. And they keep coming back."


Josh Kerns, MyNorthwest.com
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for MyNorthwest.com.
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