Facebook project update

It seems that my Facebook project is taking off significantly slower than I had anticipated.  Dispite all the hype and hoop-law around social networks and privacy issues, people seem to be genuinely hesitant to add a stranger as a “friend”.  Now I readily admit that social networking has never really been my thing – online and offline, I’m just not that good at it. In fact, the Facebook profile that I have created specifically for this project really is the only one that I have. There isn’t some other Mitch Leuraner profile with connections to dozens of my friends and family. (At least, not one managed by me!)

But when I came up with the idea of creating a profile specifically for interacting with complete strangers, I figured it would be easy.  It feels like the media has been constantly warning people about the dangers of allowing personal aspects of their lives to be displayed.

I figured that, since everyone had already become comfortable with strangers pretending to be “friends”, I would surely be able to gain trust by admitting to my plans upfront.

Surely nobody would object to such a simple project…

Well, I was wrong for sure. (And so was the media!) So far I’ve found that people are genernally not willing to share their lives with me.  And I can’t really blame them of course – other than the knowledge that they are contributing to my own understanding of humanity, they have nothing to gain from letting me into their lives.

But, I’ve been thinking about the near wholesale rejection (at time of writing I had only managed to amass three friends) in terms of what it might say about people, our news media, and online social networking in general.

I’m not ready to proclaim that all friends really are friends, but I am learning that few friends are actually strangers.

For now, the project continues.  I’ll keep you posted.

ps. Take a look in the links (on the right side of the home page) to find my Facebook profile!

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