In Facebook world, everyone is a “friend,” which is simple enough, if not true in real life. Google+ offers circles, places where we can box-in the people we know into as many customized categories as we see fit.
The obvious circles are, well, obvious — coworkers, colleagues, family, people you went to school with, exes. But what about the big vague one: your “friends?”
Within the first few days of using Google+, I realized my “friends” circle was starting to look like my Facebook friends list: an expanding collection of people with whom I had extremely varied levels of contact, from the daily to, well, the never.
I realized what I really need are some new names for these types of friendships. If the Eskimos have 1,000 words for snow, I should have more than one name for my friends. What I need is a new taxonomy.
But what to call these people … I started thinking hierarchically. If you have A-List Friends, then you must a secondary group, “B-List Friends.” That’s a start. Then there are the people you’ve only just met, either in person or digitally. They can’t be B or even C-Listers, since, you know, it’s too soon to tell. “Potential Friends” sounds about right.
You could even have a circle of friends who used to be your really good friends but then they did something to piss you off and now you’re sort of in a holding pattern with them. Why not send them to the digital dog house — call it “Limbo.” I like that.