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No More Facebook Friends for Ted Leonsis

Kim Hart

Ted Leonsis is one popular guy.

So popular that he's inching precariously close to the 5,000-friend limit on Facebook. As of this afternoon, he had 4,995. Better scramble to get those last few slots in his digital Rolodex. He said on his blog late last month that he will have to start delisting people and rejecting future requests.

It's not surprising he's a highly sought-after acquaintance. After all, he owns the Washington Capitals and is one of the region's most prominent investors, a business adviser and a tech guru. But even the most well-known folks get tired of being so, well, well-known.

A while back, when he only had a mere 2,500 friends, I asked Ted about his rapidly expanding online network. He indicated it was a little overwhelming and that his online social circle was getting out of hand. "Who has 2,500 friends?" he asked. He told me he would get several dozen friend requests a day. To limit who he would allow into his sphere, he only accepted requests from people who had at least five friends in common with him.

His pet peeve, he told me, are people who friend him and then immediately ask him to invest in a company or give to a non-profit group.

In August, he wrote on his blog,"I have too many 'friends' and because of it, Facebook is becoming something of a nuisance for me. It is a lot of work to keep up and it is a lot of messages per day from folks who all seem to need something and ASAP!"

I must admit, I have also found myself spending much more time on Facebook lately, sifting through the dozens of messages that pile up every few days. And my social circle is a fraction of the size of Ted's.

By Kim Hart  |  December 3, 2008; 5:30 PM ET  | Category:  Kim Hart
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Maybe the simple question is, do you really need to have a Facebook or a MySpace account? And the next question is, do you really need to accept anyone as your friend?

Is there really a need to correspond with these people? Are you expecting to have on-going dialogue and/or communication with them? If you believe you really need a Facebook account, can't those people who need to be a "friend" be satisfied with simply opening your page and reading what you post, whenever you decide to post something (if you even need to post something)?

Maybe the real question is, is the Facebook or MySpace account adding something of value to your life? Or do you have it because, well, everyone has one, or everyone important has one, or "well, because..." Why not, maybe, just consider for a moment, just think about... closing your account in the first place and have a website. If you're famous enough, or important enough, people will look you up and open your website. And be satisfied with it. Or, if they didn't want to go through all the trouble of opening your website, maybe they weren't really your friends in the first place.

Posted by: Dungarees | December 3, 2008 8:27 PM

I can't quite figure out why anybody needs to be on Facebook unless they are teenagers, or have something to sell to teenagers.

Posted by: gingerdoe | December 5, 2008 11:13 AM

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