Here’s a hilarious video imagining what a social network website encounter would be like in real life.
One of the difficulties with social network websites is that they present a very simplified picture of human relationships. A person’s social world cannot readily be divided up into friends and not-friends. Human relationships are much more complicated and diverse. The simplified matrix of relationships available on social network websites can result in some awkwardness, and it can also result in too much information disclosure. We might want to disclose a lot of information to certain close friends, but much less information to acquaintances or to friends in a more professional context. There is no easy solution for this problem, because a social network website with hundreds of categories for relationships might be rather complicated and oppressive to use. And people might not be pleased to know precisely where on one’s relationship matrix they stand. Jack might think he’s good friends with Jill, but Jill might classify him as merely a distant acquaintance whom she merely wants to associate with for the purpose of climbing hills.
Hat tip: Sivacracy