Monday, 7 April 2008

Friends, Romans, countrymen

My LinkedIn and Facebook self-questioning of the day: should I friend* people who I just know from the blogosophere or email? I generally don’t add people I haven’t had a significant interaction with (defined loosely as “a conversation I can remember” or “we consumed sufficient alcohol that we probably had a conversation I cannot remember any more” or “significant online interaction over time”), but maybe I should make more exceptions.

Similarly, Flickr’s new Find Your Friends feature turned up one of my friends who happens to live here but disappeared off the face of my planet (but not the planet, judging from recent photos) about a year ago—indeed much of the reason I came to Tulane instead of another job with a bit more job security in the Mid-Atlantic was because I figured I’d have at least one friend here. I apparently figured wrong… although Flickr now believes otherwise.

I also saw friends in Chicago—a few new ones, now added to Facebook, and a few old ones, either already there or too tragically hip to be there in the first place. Shoutouts in particular to SN readers Dirk, Jennifer, Nick, and Sara, and possibly some of my lurkers too embarrassed to fess up to reading the blog to my face.

* I assume it is now safe to use the word “friend” as a verb. (OS X 10.5’s version of The New Oxford American Dictionary says it’s ok… and actually a revitalized archaic form.)


Any views expressed in these comments are solely those of their authors; they do not reflect the views of the authors of Signifying Nothing, unless attributed to one of us.
[Permalink] 1. Steven Taylor wrote @ Tue, 8 Apr 2008, 8:44 am CDT:

I have, in fact, friended people whom I only know via the ‘sphere.


I’ve friended a couple of folks I know just from online.


My biggest problem is the whole “friending students” thing. I never intended to….my policy from the first day of my facebook world was to only friend students who had graduated. That spring, I got a friend request from a graduating student, a student whose maturity and academic ability had always impressed me.

Ooops. Turns out that she was an extremely mature and academically gifted underclassman. Now, I have no idea how to handle friend requests from other students until she graduates. I never accept them, but I always feel guilty and hypocritical….especially when they know the student in question.


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