The friends that I have yet to meet

Wolf Kettler | May 23rd, 2011 - 16:16

The friends that I have yet to meet. Photograph by Wolf Kettler.I have been on twitter for a little while. Somebody, who knows about social media, suggested it to me as a really useful business tool. Twitter is occasionally entertaining, it has some uses but I have yet to convince myself that it is worth the time.

I was a bit more resistant to facebook. Some time ago, I took a look and decided that it was cryptic. In the end, it was a dear client of mine and my makeup artist, who wore down my resistance. I decided to establish a facebook presence – and instantly found it cryptic.

I still do although I am slowly discovering endearing features. On my profile page is a heading that reads “people you may know”. Sounds good to me because I need more facebook friends. In facebook terms, my social connections can be benevolently called sad. As of writing this, I have a grand total of thirty friends. In my defence I have to say that I do actually know or have dealings with 27 of them.

I admit that I have no idea about the facebook etiquette for making friends. I am not sure whether I just add some stranger as a friend or write a message first. What should I say and how do I deal with the inevitable feeling of rejection if my subjects of desire refuse to be my friends?

Making friends contacts on twitter is easy. You follow someone and they follow you back (or not). That’s all there is to it and you can follow anyone. Facebook seems a little more complicated. Over the last few days I checked out the people that facebook thinks I may know. The results are fascinating.

On one of the first days I could actually work out why other people were recommended as friends, although my brain tells me that this is illusion rather than analysis. They were either friends of my friends or they shared my interests, which seemed rather simplistic. It got better a few days later, when I was offered half of Poland. Hard to tell why, perhaps because I have one friend, who is Polish.

Because I have one Polish friend I might know all of Poland? Is this it? Given that Poland has a population of nearly 40 million, the facebook logic seems a little wobbly although not entirely unlikely for a company, which is based in a country that still only acknowledges the existence of an outside world if they can start a war there.

As the days went on, I had nearly the entire staff of ITV television proposed as friends. This is where it gets a little creepy. The only reason that I can think of is that I was on ITV once but how does facebook know about it? Have they analysed my website, rummaged around the Internet or hacked into my computer?

Today, my suggested friends are, how shall I put it, a large chunk of the population of Japan. I cannot think of an explanation but I always knew that facebook was cryptic.

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