FACEBOOK STRANGERS: On Facebook, friend five people you don't know (maybe friends of friends). Once they accept your friend request, post a public comment to their wall introducing yourself and asking them about themselves. In your posts, do not elude to any friends that you have in common; just talk about yourself and ask them about themselves. (You must start this assignment before Monday for it to work!). Describe the responses.
For my experiment, I was supposed to befriend five people on Facebook that I did not know. Well, because I assumed most people who I attempted to add without knowing me, would shun my request, I decided to request eight friends. However, of the eight people I tried to add, only three accepted my request. So, the first person- we will call him Willy-to add me did so within a day. As soon as I saw he had accepted I immediately sent him a wall post saying "Hi, my name is Danyelle. I noticed you throw shot put. I used to too! I love meeting new people! Do you still throw? How have you been doing? Where do you throw at?" Well, two days went by without a response, and then finally Wednesday morning, I got a response, but not from him. It was a comment to my wall post from his girlfriend. All she had to say to me was, "???????". So, I took this to mean that she wasn't very happy I was talking to her man on Facebook. I politely wrote her an FB message apologizing if I had offended her. I didn't realize he had a girlfriend and I wasn't trying to flirt with him. To which she replied, "No no, I am not upset. I just thought it was weird that you were talking to someone you didn't know in a flirty way. (LOL). I was gonna comment (awkward lol) but I thought you might be upset so I put (??????) instead. I am a cool person and I am not mad so continue on :)."
Well, that was all fine and dandy. I did feel a little bad about talking to a guy with a girlfriend but after explaining to her that I wasn't interested in him, everything was cool- or so I thought. I went back on Willy's page later on Wednesday to discover that there was no longer a trace of evidence of our wall post conversation. So, I am thinking Willy felt a little uncomfortable for having befriended me and that his girlfriend found out and seemed to take an interest in the matter.
The norms I broke in this scenario were kind of major for young love. First, one should never befriend and talk (in a flirty manner) to a guy who clearly is "in a relationship". This is a huge no no. This makes the situation awkward for all parties. The girlfriend becomes untrusting, the guy gets in trouble, and it just makes you look like a meddling b***h.
The second person to befriend me was quite a character. We will call him Aussie. When Aussie accepted my request- late Monday afternoon, I immediately said, "Hi Aussie! My name is Danyelle! I couldn't help but notice the tattoo in your profile picture. It looks so neat. What is its significance?" To which Aussie replied only six hours later, "Hey there. It's a profile picture of my mother. She passed away a few years back. This way she'll forever be with me no matter where I go. It's a nice way to honour someone you love, I think." I thought it was so nice of him appease me and tell me something that obviously has no relevance to me. I don't know his mother, but he took time out to be polite and courteous to me, and I appreciated that. So, I replied back to him, "Oh! I can definitely see that now. That is such a sweet gesture. Good on ya." Well, someone else was apparently monitoring this conversation too because one of Aussie's female friends commented on our conversation saying, "That's beautiful. A very nice thing to do."
So, it appears that even though I broke a social norm of befriending complete strangers on Facebook and then chatting with them, neither of these people seemed to mind. Which to me seems a little strange, but it was interesting to see that some people really are just that nice.
The third person to add me, Henry, did not respond to my wall post. To him I wrote, "Hi! My name is Danyelle. I was just scanning through profiles and saw yours. Your profile picture is so cool! What mountain range is it? Do you mountain climb often?" Unfortunately, he didn't respond to tell me his history with mountains.
This leads me to believe, that he doesn't really have a preference of who he accepts on Facebook, but he won't necessarily just talk to anyone. The norm that was broken here was that I befriended a stranger, but then made him feel uncomfortable by questioning him about things that were none of my business.
Side note- I just want it to be known that I did attempt to add girls as well, but apparently girls are much less receptive to other girls than guys are to girls.
I think a norm that relates to the parameters of Facebook is the idea of personal space. Most people have Facebook accounts and most people can easily search for their friends and others at their own will. On someone's profile, there is so much information to be found. Their activities, what they read, watch on TV, etc.. Their profile pictures alone can say a lot about them. Things like these are what draws us to friend request certain people. However, this starts breaking norms, when you befriend and talk to people you don't know. It is not usually acceptable or normal to start up conversations with random strangers whom you have personally sought out on Facebook.
One major way in which I broke this norm of personal space was when I started talking to Willy- the guy with the girlfriend. The fact that he never responded made it seem as though he was uncomfortable with the whole situation of talking to other girls when he had a girlfriend (good for him). However, it became a problem, when Willy's girlfriend saw that I had written on his wall. While she claimed to be cool with me writing to him, the way in which she responded to me made it seem as though this may not have really been the case. Thus, it is safe to say that if you plan on adding a guy on Facebook, you should either make sure he doesn't have a girlfriend, or make sure she is okay with you talking to him before you write on his wall. The last thing you need to be doing is accidentally messing up a relationship.