As of yesterday, I joined a very select group -- or at least it would have been four years ago.
Yesterday I reached my 5,000th friend on Facebook. This means that I'm sorry but you can't "friend" me even if you wanted to. You had your chance but now it's over. It's not that I don't want to be your friend, it's just that I can't because Big Brother Facebook won't let me.
I tried to find out why it is that Facebook limits our friends to a mere 5,000, but when I "googled" the question about "Facebook" (imagine how that sentence would have read 15 years ago) all I could find was a story from 2008 which explained that Facebook said it was a "scaling" problem. I have that problem in my bathroom sink too, so I know what a drag it is. Anyway, the article at TechCrunch said that they had it on good authority that Facebook would drop the limit at any moment. This was in May 2008. Many moments have passed.
But I found other interesting information in the article, including the fact that there were 70 million Facebook users in 2008, and only about 1,000 of us had 5,000 friends. That comes to one-thousandth of one percent. This made me feel very special retroactive to 2008. (I had other reasons to feel more special back in 2008, but let's not talk about that right now.)
I'm not sure what the numbers are for 2012, but I'd guess each is much higher, which might still keep me in the top 1%. Although, now that I think about it, bragging about being in the top 1% of anything is not necessarily such a great idea these days.
Here's the oddest thing of all. My rate of friending increased dramatically after I lost my election last April. Back then I projected that at my pre-loss rate of digital friendship building, I'd hit the 5,000-member mark sometime in early 2013. But after the loss, things picked up for some reason, and I have hit the limit now. I do have the general sense that those of us who are not holding public office these days are more popular than those of us who do, so maybe that explains it.
In any event, I just wanted to let you know that if you come knocking on my digital door, I won't answer. It's not me. It's not you. It's Big Brother that's keeping us apart.