The new system for ranking your friends, which leaves you with hardly any friends.

How many Facebook friends do you have? Hundreds? More than a thousand?

As we make more and more connections online, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of our real friends.

Sydneysider Mobinah “Moby”Ahmad was tired of navigating a world of vague acquaintances, made even more complex by the advent of social media, so she created a system to rank them all. (Type A’s the world over rejoice.)

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Moby has no time for fair weather friends. Image via 7.30.

Using a simple questionnaire, she decided to divide her group of ‘friends’ into six easy to manage subgroups.

“I have so many friends on Facebook, like hundreds and hundreds of friends,” she explained on ABC‘s 7.30 program last night.

“Out of the 400 Facebook friends that I have, I would say I have one to two real friends. Facebook is such a superficial way of keeping in contact with someone.”

You can watch the full segment here or read the transcript on the 7.30 website (post continues after video):

Video via ABC, 7:30

Suffice to say, some of Moby’s acquaintances, formerly friends, haven’t been too impressed with their recent demotions, but she insists that she is just “telling it like it is”.

So without further ado here’s how it is, in 6 simple categories, according to Moby.

Pre­-Acquaintance (Roughly 10% of the people you know)

Pre-acquaintances are those people you vaguely recognise, whose names elicit a ‘yeah, I know them’ but who you wouldn’t bother to stop and chat to in the street.

Acquaintance Level 1: “To know of someone” ­(20% of people you know)

People you know through mutual friends or other acquaintances. Perhaps you met briefly at a party or at uni, perhaps a work colleague or business client. You cross paths by coincidence, but never on purpose and only know superficial details about each others lives.


Acquaintance Level 2: “Liking & Preliminary Care” ­(30% of people you know)

You went to school or university together and have known each other for quite a while now. You hang out in groups, one on one is a bit much (c’mon just back off a bit) but you have each others backs. 20 minutes of small talk. Tops.

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How many friends have you lost so far? Image via 7.30.

Acquaintance Level 3: “Significant Connection & Care” ­(25% of people you know)

This is the level, I would hesitate to guess, that most people consider ‘friendship’. The people you share a connection with, have meaningful chats, care about one another but perhaps don’t catch up as often as you should.

Pre­Friend: “Potential Friend” (14% of people you know)

Let’s call this ‘aspirational friends’, people you wish were your friends, by Moby’s standards, not society’s ‘one click and your besties’ model of mateship. These are the people you want to spent more time with and become proper friends.

Friend: “Mutual Feelings of Love” ­( 1% of people you know)

These are the real deal. The friends whose parents you ask after, the ones where you want to hear about every mundane aspect of their lives; their thoughts, their fears and, god help you, even their opinions. These are the people you don’t have to explain to, who know when you’re sad, who hold your hair back when you vomit, who you can talk on the phone to for hours and with whom that feeling is mutual. The lifers. The people who put your Facebook ‘friends’ to shame.

Okay, so Moby’s system comes with a whole lot of asterisks. It’s highly personal, deeply subjective and, let’s face it, a little bit focused on the semantics. But it’s an interesting way to start thinking about what friendship is really about and what it means to call someone your friend.

George and Jerry? Definitely not friends. Chandler and Joey? Probably still friends. Try ranking yours and see how many you have left.

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