I have 741 friends on Facebook

Despite having 741 “friends” on Facebook at this very moment, I truly believe that only a very few of them knows the true song in my heart, and that only a very few of them can actually hear me screaming now. This is in an age where having connections is the big hype sold world-wide - popularly known as “networking”. Wherever you turn, you hear that it is very important to have a big “circle”, because it is the connections you make while networking that will propell you forward in life. I do have a big circle, but not exclusively through facebook. But, does having connections everywhere really propell you forward? 

But, still, I sometimes wonder if knowing - or being connected - to a lot of these people on FB is really that important. Look for example at my “most liked” image from my most commonly used Facebook-account (yes, I have two accounts). The image have collected 172 likes in total. 95 comments (naturally, some of them are actually my own replies as well). Ideally, these are the only 172 connections I should have in my firends list, plus an additional buffer of let’s say around 10%. That would mean I could easily delete some 500 “connections” as they most likely have no interest in who I am anyway, what I do, or where I am, nor can - or will they help me if I did in fact ask them for help or a favour. Additionally, many of them most likely wouldn’t even recognize me on the street, in a shop or at the coffee house. And if they did in fact recognize me, would they take time to stop and say “hi”?

Then, to a true story from my own life and my own bucket of experiences: a few years ago, I was in Rørvik where my step-family still lives. I met an old classmate from 25+ years ago at the local grocery store near the check-out counter. It was painfully awkward to say at least. “Hi, how are you?” I asked -“Oh, I’m fine - who are you anyway?”. And yes, that person used to be connected as a “friend” on Facebook. Why? For the rest of the painful conversation: “So, the weather is nice this time of the year” I continued … (no, it actually wasn’t, it was raining every single day). “Yes, everything is so fine”. I wonder if that person found the encounter as awkward as I did? I must shoot in and state that the person is no longer connected, but I it still baffels me that I continue to get friend-requests from other people from around that same time in life. We haven’t been in touch for 25+ years, and are very likely not going to be in touch even if we do re-connect. 

The "worst examples” (as in strangest examples) are those that I remember bullying me (perhaps for a good reason, because I was indeed and still is, a "special boy”) in childhood. Now, they want to connect and become my friend. Why? Even people I have worked with, and that I never really got along with, now suddenly wants to become my “friend”. Is this normal? 

I once read an article in a paper which stated that those you connect with on Facebook, should ideally only be those that you are confident inviting into your home. I wonder, how many people actually stick to that simple “rule”?. Do you? Another thing I have long thought about is, what makes it perfectly fine to connect to other people’s friends? People that you have never seen or met before, nor know very much about? Is it common interest, is it of curiosity, is it because you think you have a common friend, or is it because you think that person must get the chance to know how wonderful you are too? 

Then, to the issue of family. They used to be connected as friends, but why wouldn’t they ever respond to my private messages or my other attempts at making contact? Not even when they frequently pass through, - or visit - my city, they do not come to visit, nor do they make any attempts to meet up for a coffee or a cake. Perhaps they are not that interested? But if they indeed are not interested, I see no difficulty in having them disconnected either. The realities of life is harsh. Be my friend, and you get my friendship. 

Through picture sharing websites, I have also become aware of a certain pattern. Relatives and other Norwegian “friends” won’t like my selfie-pictures. The reason for this is that I think Janteloven is possibly very much alive in Norway and Scandinavia: "you shouldn’t believe you are better than anyone else". If it’s however an image of a beautiful sunset, a picture-perfect landscape or an image of the food I ate, they shower their Likes without hesitation. Then, with my Asian and Thai friends, the reality is somewhat different. I post a selfie, and I get a lot of likes from them, possibly also with accompanying and very encouraging word that I’m good looking or something like that. At the same time, it is also interesting to see how much stronger and how much more profound Asian friends are. Friendships are often said to be ten times stronger than the bonds of family. Why is that? 

Then, to another thing that has been on my mind a lot lately. For many years thoughout my childhood and adult years, I had a gigantic, all-absorbing interest in everything Hurtigruten (coastal steamers of Norway) and their history. But, in the past few years, with the TV-shows like “Hurtigruten 365” and “Hurtigruten minute for minute”, for some strange reason my interest completely died out. Hurtigruten quickly became very popular, and so many people suddenly became self-proclaimed new experts on the ships. In groups throughout the Internet, an image of for example the iconic Harald Jarl is posted and people are blatantly convinced to the point of being bombastic, it’s an image of a totally different ship. In my mind, a true fan of Hurtigruten will know exactly the difference between most ships, and even know which ship by only listening to their whistles. Simply said, my interest was pronounced dead as soon as it became the interest of so many. Therefore, I will very soon offer my entire collection of Hurtigruten memorabilia for sale. Not to be sold piece by piece, but as a whole. Price will absolutely not be negotiable. 


In the past year, also my interest in taking pictures of passenger ships and other ships as well, died. Perhaps the reasons are the same, but I’m not entirely convinced it’s the only reason. All I know, all I can say for sure, is that I do not have the same passion to photograph ships any longer. Do not misunderstand me the wrong way, I still love taking pictures, but the focusing subject has shifted to completely other areas and motifs. Ships, planes and trains are way at the bottom of my list now. 

If you do want to see my photographs, and are on Facebook, please subscribe to my PixelBank or check out my forum.

As a friend of mine suddenly made me think of, after cleaning his own Facebook-account:  it’s time to leave some parts of the past behind, and look forward towards the future. I may not have many years left on this planet earth, and like I’m also doing with all my possessions (including Hurtigruten-collections), financials and other personal responsabilities, I’m now pretty much cleaning my closet and preparing to simplify my life towards the end. Disconnecting people that have no contact with me now might leave my own funeral a very small gathering, but it really doesn’t matter, because I wont be there myself. I’m still hopeful there might still be some people saying good things about my legacy when that day comes. Anyhow, the nicest people don’t wait till that day to say nice and supporting things directly to me, they do it today, tomorrow and most importantly, whenever I need it. These are the friends and connections I want to have on the voyage ahead. 

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In closing: if you find yourself being deleted from my facebook within the next days, weeks and months, it is absolutely not meant to be personal. I most likely love you, respect you for everything you are and stand for, and I thank you very much for every positive moment you gave me in the past, but since we no longer stay in touch (physically or in writing), I don’t see why we should be connected into the future. If we haven’t been in touch for the past year, it is not very likely we will ever get in touch on a frequent basis anyway. Additionally, if you have changed your facebook name to something that is not your real name, it may be the simple reason that I do not know who you are (who is hiding their identity behind fake and fictive names). 

Being a navigator and  Captain is a wonderful thing. I’m spending thousands of hours on a ships bridge looking out over the sea every year, I do get a LOT of time to reflect and think. Perhaps this is the very reason why I’m now writing this blog-entry. Sort of putting my thoughts and questions to you in writing, hoping for even the shortest of reply to see if I’m wrong or right, or if I’m totally thinking way too much. I do not intend to be the elephant in a China-store, but I’d really like to hear from others that occationally think about the same questions. 

In the meanwhile, I return to check my Facebook and wonder how long this will last: when will I actually abandon the whole concept of Facebook? I’m not there - yet, but I’m quickly getting closer. 

Bon voyage whether you stay on board or if you are politely shown the gangway. The future voyage promises to be streamlined, honest, friendly, clean and simplified. Almost like a luxury cruise on the most fantastic ship, with only the best of friends, sailing towards amazing days at sea. 

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An image you do not need to “Like” (unless you really want to for whatever reason). 

(Disclaimer: I might have raised a lot of questions and concerns, I might not have expressed my thoughts in a “perfect” way, I might have said things differently, and I might not have written my thoughts perfectly. The very final bottom line is however, I love you and thank you for everything, and that I’m cleaning my closets for trolls, possessions and going for a simplified - and hopefully better - future). 

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