#307 Don’t fear the foe
Sunday 3rd February, 2008
I’m in an awkward situation in that I’ve my close friends on Facebook that are now ‘friends’ with my foe.
Well as I have mentioned before what Facebook and social networks does best is the aggregation of not only people, but people’s relationships as well. This is what ‘social networking’ is all about; the links and connections that are manifest as a part of the social actions that people choose to carry across to one another.
Where things become more complex, such as is the case with an active ‘pursuit’ across various forms of shared media, are the possible relationship categorisations, maybes, get togethers and the big one: Rejection. On Facebook everyone has an individual identity, background, interests and relationships to build upon. Social networks can be thought as the ‘enablers’ that allow connections to be drawn together into an increasingly tight circle of dynamic links, wall posts, pokes (super or otherwise) and messages. Friending is the main bread and butter of Facebook, it would not get anywhere if people did not make connections and these connections would not exist if we did not share some form of complex tie to one another. Why complex? Because these are human relationships and nothing is straightforward.
In the playground the ‘foe’ was identifiable as someone who had pulled your pigtails, taken your favourite pencil case and doodled on it (it’s a girl thing) or just beaten you at the latest game of footie. Of course back in those days, you could physically stay out of the person’s way. Now relationship identifiers are broadcast to the world. Well your world of social links at least. There’s an ye olde adage ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’. Something that has not worked out well for everyone, how many who dunnits have been solved by the revelation ‘the butler/daughter/maid did it’, but this strategy can work in more subtle ways on Facebook. Firstly friend of foe it is up to you who you include in your network. And Facebook does not reveal who rejection whom and when if friend requests are left unanswered. In addition, tweak your profile to include information for foes, but best place them on ‘limited profile’ to avoid giving them too much information. As for friends mixing with foes, well Facebook is not all make believe, and whilst in an ideal world you would separate both from one another, chances are they will work out for themselves why some people are closer and nicer than others.Tweet