Knowing Who Your Friends Are

A few weeks ago at Skipper's while chatting up a friend, I glanced a passing stranger and whispered, "Ooh, that's one of my Facebook friends!"

My friend, a non-Facebooker, asked: "How do you know him?"

"I have no idea. But his face is so familiar to me from his photos."

I am one of those people who has no idea who hundreds of my Facebook friends are. As a media person, it was bound to happen, but some days I don't feel great about it. For the most part, as lovely and like-minded as my FBF's might be (having found each other through groups like WMNF, Veterans for Peace, and Jim Hightower), they are not friends I can call up on a Tuesday morning when I'm stuck sick in bed, bored out of my mind and in need of chatting.

And though it's been said that social networking and the internet are making us less sociable, I continue to believe these tools have the opposite effect.

For example, at work the other day, my relatively new co-worker and friend (and FB friend) Emily excitedly told me we have a couple of FBF's in common, including Mirko Soko, whom she knows of through her boyfriend James. She quickly relayed the story of how James met Mirko online when he bought his extra Wilco ticket. They ended up going to see the show together.

FB keeps us in touch: my former AmeriCorps team members Rosalinda and Amber earlier this year

In Mirko's (truncated) words:
Then we found each other here on FB and somewhat kept in touch. Then one night late I saw an update from him that he was gonna pick up a set of sofas (later found out he got them through freecycle) anyways he needed some help and I was available so I helped him out so that's pretty much the story. He seems like a good guy. It's funny 'cos I realize that I'm perhaps friendlier online that I'm in person sometimes ;)

"How do you know him?" Emily asked me.

"Uh, I don't know. I don't think I've ever met him before."

I sent Mirko a message on FB to confirm that we indeed have not ever met. He agreed, though noted perhaps we've seen each other in passing at the radio station or at a show. He seems like someone I should be friends with.

Me and Ronny with our traveling troubadour FB friend Ramsay Midwood

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