I just deleted 200 “friends” on my Facebook account. Yes, I felt a bit guilty, but these were largely past students: students who have never written me, emailed me called me or spoken to me since the class was over. Are those really “friends?” Well, they are in a sense, but do I really want them to know everything I think or post that I’d want my family or close friends to see? No. Facebook’s concept of friends is like an old mono recording. One size fits all. But life isn’t and friends aren’t like that.
Enter Google+. I am fortunate to be an early user of this new social networking offering from Google, and so far I love it. I can create “Circles” of friends. I have a family circle, a UCLA colleagues, and I could have created a Bourland’s Students circle and kept all those 200 friends, and communicated things appropriate to that group. Likewise I will be creating a Composers circle where I can share composerly posts, but not show them my baby pictures.
I’m very excited about Google+ and as soon as it becomes available to the public I plan to phase out of Facebook and switch. So if all your friends are the same kind of friends, stick with Facebook. Otherwise, consider adding or switching to Google+. You’ll find it a refreshing new venue.