Sub Groups and Their 500FF Acronyms

Posted: January 28, 2011 in Uncategorized
(Blogger’s Note: to get right to the acronyms, skip the first two paragraphs)
I think it’s fair to say that, entering this project, I didn’t concoct a coherent methodology for how I’d be cutting people. I won’t be employing any sort of deliberative approach for how I’m making my cuts. I think that’s because facebook is so overstimulating that either by design or inadvertently, it spurs its users to constantly be moving in different directions and doing different things on the site. When it comes to making cuts, the site’s helter skelter nature ends up taking the cutter in so many directions that sticking with one approach proves challenging. Say you’re looking at common friends of a distant friend (a good target when making cuts). Just as you see someone who’s cuttable, you realize you played HS baseball with her cousin. This leads you to start thinking about your high school baseball team and who you might be friends with from it that can be cut. That makes you think of the shitty coach you had on that team and how he taught at your high school and that leads to you mulling over whether or not you want to de-friend the school’s token radical English teacher. The point is, it becomes virtually impossible to settle in and meticulously target your next cut. As a result, it’d be hard to summarize for readers what the best approach to cutting might be (though I’d love suggestions).
There is one technique, however, that at least helps to assuage my doubts about there not being a coherent method for making cuts: sup-groupping. Provided you’re a reasonably well-traveled individual whose interests have at least somewhat varied over the years, you, like me, have friends that at least loosely can be grouped into  all sorts of different categories. A category can be as broad as “childhood friend” or as narrow as, at least in my case, “miscellaneous stranger I interacted with on an internet message board devoted to Division 3 basketball” (THE MAN!). Inevitably, some of those sub-groups will lend themselves to quicker cuts. And to simplify, this is where the acronyms come in. The following are a handful of sub-groups that have somehow emerged in my social landscape during my 6+ years on the book and 25+ years on planet earth (in no particular order)..
HPJ’s: High profile Japs. An at least somewhat ubiquitous Jewish American Princess circuit emerged during my time at Washington University in St. Louis, informally known as Wash Jew by some. While many of these girls aren’t necessarily archetypal caricature-style Japs (think: uggs, frozen yogurt, and a complete lack of emotional intelligence), they are generally from a coast (or Chicago), come from at least some money, and get tagged with fellow girls with whom they attended Wash.U. Indeed, they don’t even have to be Jewish to be deemed Japs (consider that your disclaimer, Anti-defamation League). And lest you think my description of this group is derisive, it very often is not, as many of these people are not only my friends on facebook, but also in real life. Nonetheless, there are surely dozens of girls who at least somewhat match this description and many of them will have to go. I may have partnered with a girl’s sorority during the requisite greek week community service project for a day four years ago, but that doesn’t mean you need to see my status update about the death of my dog (I suspect I’ll remain an over-sharer long after I’ve shed my over-friending tendencies).
FBT’s: Future Big Timers. For many, the most intuitively simple de-friending would be to click away those people with whom you really aren’t friends, particularly those you might actually dislike (or, just as commonly, you fear may dislike you). Not so fast, you silly altruist. At least in my case, a lot of the people who irk me are people who have a great chance of achieving some form of prominence in their life down the line (or have already begun to acquire status/celebrity/and yes, sometimes money). Indeed, as one who is rather insecure about the long-term viability of my own strengths (professional de-friending probably won’t pay the mortgage), these FBT’s probably irk me in part because they possess skills that I lack or, more relevantly, I don’t perceive necessarily perceive them as possessing skills I lack, but the fact that they have higher LSAT scores nonetheless pisses me off. Many of my FBT’s don’t irk me, though, and I recall them as incredibly kind people. But lets be real, that kind girl you did a kids play with for your fraternity’s production in the campus carnival (only to never speak with again) would get cut a lot quicker if her newsfeed didn’t inform you she was at Columbia Law. I wish I had the humanity to see it otherwise, but at this point, I’m too many LSAT points away from cultivating that sort of security about my identity.
RANC’s: Recently added, no connection. These are people who recently friended you, but with whom you lack any real connection currently and/or in the past. Some will say, “oh, you should have just rejected their friend request,” but what’s done is done and now you’re stuck with them so you’ve got to deal with it. These could be kids you played one year of JV baseball with and never spoke to or  rando’s you met at a bar while faux-networking, only to realize when you’re sober that your career interests don’t even remotely align with what they do for a living. Often these people come in the form of new facebook users. They’re on that ever-so-common “unrelenting friend spree” where they friend anyone and everyone with whom they’ve ever interacted. I’ve seldom been overjoyed with one of these friend requests, but there was one time when the hottest girl in the grade above me went on her spree and I was included. That was sweet and she’ll probably be around for a while. Anyhow, these RANC’s pose a dilemma because they are either so new to facebook or have so few friends on facebook that your defriending of them will be recognized immediately. At least that’s the fear.
STC’s: Not to be confused with STD’s, though in a certain way, their defining traits are quite similar. I’m talking about small-time celebrities. People who have attained some measure of fame and whom you admire but might not want other people to know you admired. Like STD’s, you’re really embarrassed you have them and other people often don’t know you have them. I’m going to come back with a lengthier post on this quite soon, but I figured I’d introduce readers to the concept in advance. In short, I have a lot of fairly small time Division 1 basketball players of past and present as friends. Not only do they not know me, but few people outside of completely die-hard college hoops fans have heard of them.
Be prepared for these terms to be thrown around in coming days and for these categories to serve as fertile ground for painful cuts.
No new cuts to report. Look for a post on the emotional hardship involved in axing some of my favorite STC’s quite soon.
News: Follow @500fewerfriends on twitter. Keep spreading the word.
  1. Noelle says:

    Your memory never ceases to amaze me. I have a fraction of the fb friends and from time to time there are still people on my roster that completely escape my memory. I love the detailed accounts and formalized categories for each of the deleted 🙂

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