You keep a different level of friendship among your friends and Facebook had defined these so as to filter the information you disclose to each type of friends that you have. Below are types of facebook friends you may have connection with.
1. Friends of friends
These are not really your friends but people who you may be familiar with because your friends are friends with them. They are those who can see your posts when you tag your friends in your photos. In real life these are people who you seek to be introduced to when you run for student council or run for public office or need to sell some school tickets because they are the extension of your network and a means to expand it. You give them some level of trust than you give complete strangers because you trust that your friends have enough reasons to be friends with them.
These are people who you personally know and who you may have been introduced to in one meeting or another but whom you don’t consider yet as friends with. A few meetings may not qualify them as a friend as you might still doubt whether they would accept all they would know about you. This category might also include your bosses or colleagues who you do not completely welcome to your private life and who you are just being polite not to decline friend requests from. In real life these are people who you recognize in a crowd because you have met on one ocassion but crossing paths again is not likely a possibility.
These are generally all the people you know and are in good terms with or don’t have bad blood with. Facebook has widened this definition to include all your neighbors, classmates, org-mates, groupmates, choirmates, co-athletes, relatives and what have you.
In real life however, these could be just a handful. They are those who you can bring home and introduce to mom and allow to sleep over at your house or whose house you are allowed to sleepover at. They are those who you could talk to on the phone for hours and whose only birthdays you remember by heart. They are those you automatically choose to be groupmates with and who you eat lunch or go to the mall and watch movies with because time has bonded you into being interested about almost the same stuff and activities.
4. Close Friends
In Facebook, these are those who you won’t mind popping in your newsfeed and telling you what activities they are in on social media every minute and every hour. You don’t mind being told what they do because you are actually following their every move if they synch with yours or if you are keeping up with what everyone else does.
In real life these are your best friends forever (BFFs) who could be mistaken as your siblings because they are literally all over your place staying there even when you are not home yet. They are those who can raid your fridge and eat at your house even if they went there without you. They are almost part of the family, being present in all family ocassions and knowing almost all of your secrets sometimes more than your mom does. These friends are also the carefully chosen few whom you make a constant communication with even after time and tide has kept you apart. They are invited in your wedding and would even become your children’s absentee godparents if they have migrated already to another place.
In Facebook these are your immediate family and distant family members who you are proud to be associated with. While you can list all of your kin on Facebook, you sometimes filter those family members who you are not in good vibes with. As in real life you only want to be associated with those who add to your credibility and veer away from those who would do otherwise. Because you may not at all times be friends with everyone in the family, you normally include here only those in your inner circle whom you consider closer to you than your closest friends. As in real life some family members may not automatically be good friends and some friends may be considered closer to you than your friends that sometimes you make no distinction.
Your friends in one way or another helped shape who you have become. They shared in your happiest and darkest moments and are the keeper of those moments in their memories. When you make friends with everyone on social media without filtering the information you share with them, you may be oversharing or exposing yourself to judgement and criticism. This is because in real life the smaller circle you keep are only the ones who know the real you and who can accept you for who you really are. That is why not all your friends in Facebook are like real life friends because friendship is often built on mutual trust, cultivated by common and shared experiences that are tested through time.