Facebook friend weirdness

So, I like Facebook. One of the things I do occasionally is look at the “Friend suggestions” of people that I might know. For the most part, they are either:

  • People I know but don’t want to be friends with (old mission or high school people I barely knew then)
  • Stupid things like “Laughter” or “Campfires” or “Subway”
  • Local teenagers that are friends with the teenagers in my ward that I am friends with
  • Other people that I do not know

It’s kind of an interesting dynamic – how to best populate these suggestions. It stands to reason that people that people that share a whole lot of mutual friends with me might also be my friends. For example, one friend I recently added was my cousin Jared. He had 15 mutual friends with me, so Facebook assumed (correctly) that I might also know him. Where it falls short is say this one guy from my mission. We share 7 mutual friends and Facebook is at least correct that I know who he is, but I didn’t really know him very well.

But what I find interesting are the people that show up that have completely random sets of mutual friends with me. I’m reminded of a situation a few years ago where we found out through a forwarded email chain or something that my cousin’s wife Candace was good friends with the sister of a family (the Wickmans) that lived in our ward here in Cincinnati.

I guess this kind of the whole point of things like Six Degrees of Separation and LinkedIn and such – that we are for the most part clusters of people, with occasional longer “branches” out to other groups of clusters.

So, here are a few examples. Note that I do not personally know any of these people (to my knowledge) but Facebook suggests them as my friends because I have several mutual friends with them.

  • Brian Hanna, who is friends with the Brookses, a couple from my ward, but also friends (and I think related?) to my cousin Sarah and my cousin-in-law Candace
  • Rachel Martel, who is friends with a guy from my church (Reed) and my cousin Sarah
  • There were a couple of other ones that I noticed but did not write down – but similar things where it was just weird that this person knew 2 (or more) people that I also knew, but from completely different circles

Anyway, just thought I’d share….

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Comments (3) left to “Facebook friend weirdness”

  1. Carolyn wrote:

    That is rather odd and just reminds me how small the world can be, especially in Mormon circles.

  2. Jeff Blankenburg wrote:

    I rarely find them, but I truly look forward to those times when I find someone that knows two or more circles of my friends.

    There was a girl named Tara that some of the people on my volleyball team knew from yet another volleyball team. I had heard her mentioned in numerous conversations, but never met her. Months later, a new girl started working at my office. After a little talking, I discovered that she was “the Tara” that had been discussed so many times before.

    She and I made a quick connection because of it, and it’s still sometimes strange to see her at volleyball games. It’s like we’re programmed to expect people to only exist in one circle at a time.

    (Seriously??? The CAPTCHA to post this message was “entitles Gloucestershire.” Give me words I can easily spell, please!)

  3. Dan Miller wrote:

    Excellent – I forgot another one. There is a lady that I used to know from geocaching that is good friends (from high school) with a friend of mine from church.

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