After joining yet another social network (Origo – for those who care), and sending out the usual invites to friends and acquaintances to link up, I received an interesting return message from one of them (a good friend btw.) She jokingly inquired whether I, in the description that Origo encourages us users to tag our social network, planned to describe her as a "former colleague", a "friend", a "good friend", or a "dear friend".
This made me pause to think. Is it really wise to publish descriptions of the type of relationships one has to other people? What if those that I simply tag as "friend" start to wonder why they don't merit the "good friend" rating? Will other people assume that these people are bad friends? And what if I at one point change my mind about a particular relationship. Such things happen, for various reasons, but do I really want such things to be notarized?
The more I think about this, the more I become convinced that these types of declarations of relationship have no place in a public arena. They should be constrained to the private domain, such as late night confidences and personal letters. Silly me, starting to use such tags in the first place!
So – my friends, good friends and dear friends, I'll soon downgrade you all to "acquaintances" as far as our publicized relationships are concerned. Now you know why this happened. Be assured that I still love you all, just as much as before.