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….