07 December 2009

Social networking-How it would work in real life

When I start reading a blog or a Tweet by someone I don't know and then click on one of their contacts' blogs or something else on their page, it seems I inevitably end up on the page of someone I know from Flickr, Twitter, my own blog readers, Matador, etc. How is that? Are we all getting our contacts from each others pages or is it just that the people you are friends with just have the same taste as you? I'd really like to see a drawing of the map I take when on the net and how it matches up with the map of others. Do they have that yet? I'm sure I'd be going round in circles and eventually passing through the circles of others. Anyway, I can see it in my head even if I can't explain it here. But what if social networking worked in the same way in real life?

Imagine this. In real life, I walk up to a friend who is talking to someone I don't know. But, hey, I really like how they think.

"Can I be your friend?", I ask.

"Sure" they'll confirm. And then we'll go on our merry way.

A couple of weeeks later I'll be watching a gig with my brother and a mutual friend of ours when I run into my new friend from the last conversation who is with her other friend that I don't know.

"Wow, how funny to run into you here!" she'll exclaim. It's like we're really old mates now.

"Yeah, this is my brother and our friend (who is really just an aquaintance we are doing a favour by taking to the gig)"

"Cool. Your brother's hot. Can I be his friend?"

"Probably, just ask him."

"Can I be your friend?" she asks my brother.

"Sure", answers my brother.

Then our aquaintance wants in on the game and he asks new friend, "Can I be your friend too?".

New friend: "Um,maybe not." and walks off.

Now, my brother is out one time and runs into the new friend and my original friend.
"Hey new friend. I like your friend here. New friend's friend, can I be your friend?"

"Sure", she replies.

Then the next time I'm out with my original friend, my brother walks up to us saying, "How's it going? Wow, I didn't know that you two knew each other."

I'm starting to think that there are as few degrees of separation on the internet as there are in New Zealand...and that ain't many. Do you ever end up on a good blog and think you want to follow it but then see someone you sort of know from another site you frequent is also a follower. But you don't want that person to think you are stalking so you don't follow the new blog, just in case? No? OK, I guess that's just me then.


Tina said...

I totally get what you mean - it seems like there's people that frequent the same type of blogs that I do, and then I've found heaps of interesting new blogs again where I find other known names. But I don't worry too much about the stalking part... :P

Shiela said...

So true - the world, whether you are talking about it in the virtual or real sense are extremely small now! You never know who you know or will come to know, need to know, etc.

Niamh Griffin said...

It would be funny to make real-life friends like that and if we could break-up with friends in reality as painlessly as we do online life would be simpler too - but so much more boring! You need both kinds of mates:)

shantiwallah said...

"You need both kinds of mates."
Too true!

Small world but it's mostly good, I think:-)

Anonymous said...

Very true! I've experienced it so many times myself but never thought of it like this.
BTW, your bio seems very interesting. What do you teach?

shantiwallah said...

Hi Zeba and thanks for your comment!
I've been an English as a second/foreign language teacher for yonks, but this year I've been teaching literacy in the workplace. It's been quite a change for me but very rewarding.
BTW I've checked out your blogs and they are really cool! I need to go back and visit again soon:-)

Lavender said...

Haha that happens with everyone :)
U know what's weirder, knowing random details about a person you've never actually met... and when you actually see the person you're saying in your head- Omg I know way more about you than I'm actually supposed to :D

shantiwallah said...

Oh yes, that's a very scary thought!

Thanks for stopping by:-)