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AIBU to be gobsmacked at this re Facebook?

78 replies

NickRobinsonsloveslave · 03/06/2011 23:01

I have been trying to get my act together for a whole week regarding a project I had to do for a Sociology course.
It entailed having to prove or disprove that people's interactions are moving away from the normal face to face stuff, with people just 'speaking' to other people on the internet, texting, emails etc.
Eventually decided to concentrate on Facebook, as that seems to be how most people communicate now. So I 'invented' a false person, added a profile photo of a very attractive woman, sent out some friend invites, but only to folk who would have attended a local school (not mine). I included a fair ratio of men and women, then sat back expecting nothing.
I was amazed to get, not only people accepting my friend requests, but other people asking me to be their friend!
I, as myself, know some of these people, but the persona I, age, photo, school, etc, is not real. Yet these people accepted me without question.
I am totally gobsmacked, just cannot believe that folk will just believe this stuff. Are they so desperate for friends they will accept anyone or what?
It has certainly given me an angle for my project, but what are these people thinking?

OP posts:

MissFenella · 03/06/2011 23:04

Have you not lived on planet earth for long?


Mandy2003 · 03/06/2011 23:06

Facebook...Thinking...two mutually exclusive concepts IMO.

I really, really don't like Facebook. Sorry if I've offended anyone.


Tommy · 03/06/2011 23:07

they are desperate for "friends" and/or need to get out more.

there was a really sad case in the news recently whereby a young woman took her own life after she had written that she would on FB. Her Mum afterwards said "where were her friends then? She has has hundreds of friends on FB and not one of them helped her"
She obviously didn't really know them and they certainly weren't her friends - some of them had written things like "oh, she's always saying stuff lke this - it's all talk, she won't actually do it"



ReindeerBollocks · 03/06/2011 23:08

Some people collect friends. I don't know why, but I do know DH added a female work colleague who scoured his friends list and added all of his male friends.

DH rarely uses it but has removed this woman for weird behaviour.

However, for the basis of your sociology course some people use FB to make and retain friendships, but others have different purposes or 'needs' to make themselves seem popular.

YANBU though, I find this behaviour a bit odd to say the least. (oh and good luck with the project and course).


Tommy · 03/06/2011 23:09

I like FB and use it a lot but I don't accept friend requests from people I don't know - very weird IMO


NickRobinsonsloveslave · 03/06/2011 23:14

Thankyou Reindeer. I never knew this about Facebook...collecting friends, when you don't even know them? Why???

OP posts:

piprabbit · 03/06/2011 23:16

I'm not sure how setting up a fake profile on FB proves/disproves that people's interactions are moving away from face to face to online. What are you hoping to demonstrate? Surely you are only including a subset of individuals who have a proven track record for using online interaction via FB... you won't have included anybody who relies solely on fact to face interactions.

Are you using your fake profile to interact with people? Or passively observing as people become your friend? Do you plan to set up any more profiles with, perhaps, different pictures to see if you observe the same patterns of behaviour.

What are your next steps?


SpringchickenGoldBrass · 03/06/2011 23:17

I wouldn't actively seek anyone out but I have sometimes addd people I really only vaguely remember.Some of the friend requests may be from people who see that their friends have added you and they think 'oh this person must have been at school/college with me and [my friend], better add her too so she doesn't think I'm being rude or I've forgotten who she is, even though I have'.


ReindeerBollocks · 03/06/2011 23:17

Goodness knows, I'm sure there's a term for those type of people desperate. I personally only add people I know well.

I appreciate FB can have it's uses but it has changed the way society communicates, and it's not all necessarily positive (but not wholly negative either).


DuelingFanjo · 03/06/2011 23:19

you used a real school and maile people who had been at that school?


DuelingFanjo · 03/06/2011 23:19



ScrotalPantomime · 03/06/2011 23:23

YANBU but also a bit U to be surprised! It is too easy to be detached from RL with online media.

I don't accept suggestions/requests from people I don't know, even when we have a lot of mutual friends. If I've never met them what's the point?

I have a few MNers on my FB though, through a support thread.

I am always a bit Hmm when I see massive friend lists - it used to be the same with MSN Messenger in my teens - people adding anyone and everyone and then sitting there typing small talk just because they were online.


khaleesi · 03/06/2011 23:26

curiosity. - accept - browse through profile and pics - doesn't ring a bell - delete is what i do if i'm unsure :P


cjbartlett · 03/06/2011 23:28

I think it's wierd that you set up a fake account
are you on one of these mickey mouse courses?
Like David beckham studies ? Any course that involves setting up a fake fb account isn't going to get you a great job IMO


cjbartlett · 03/06/2011 23:30

'It entailed having to prove or disprove that people's interactions are moving away from the normal face to face stuff, with people just 'speaking' to other people on the internet, texting, emails etc. '

I don't think you needed to set up a fake account
it's obvious that people have moved away from face to face contact due to Internet and emails

good luck in your course though


jasper · 03/06/2011 23:32

"Any course that involves setting up a fake fb account isn't going to get you a great job IMO"

Mumsnet quote of the year so far for me. Genius Grin


immortalbeloved · 03/06/2011 23:32

A lot of people do add a lot of 'friends' for things like games though, at one point (when I was housebound) I was playing games on there and had hundreds of facebook friends to play the games with- it was a seperate account though with no personal info on and it wasn't even in my real name


shmoz · 03/06/2011 23:34

''So I 'invented' a false person, added a profile photo of a very attractive woman, sent out some friend invites, but only to folk who would have attended a local school (not mine).''

In the name of coursework. Righto.

Weird is what I call it.


ReindeerBollocks · 03/06/2011 23:36

Why not use a portion of MN interactions (if you're allowed that is).

I don't know how well everyone really knows each other but it's more to the point of your research isn't it? Lots of people coming together to interact online regarding parenting and many other topics including bum sex. Most people don't have connections to others on here so it would be morer conclusive to your needs.

Or am I just talking bollocks again?


LolaRennt · 03/06/2011 23:36

Me and a friend did this. We wern't conducting a sociology experiment. We were bored, unemployed and thought it would be funny. We added loads of random photos of either rmassive groups, tagged a random person in the middle that you couldn't see. Then added some photos like <a class="break-all" href=",22378/image/Website-Stats/sexy-stormtrooper-618.0.html.jpg&,r:5,s:0&biw=1014&bih=377" rel="nofollow noindex" target="_blank">this and like <a class="break-all" href=",r:10,s:0&tx=62&ty=53&biw=1014&bih=377" rel="nofollow noindex" target="_blank">this people actually added us and blokes tried it on.. Which never stopped being funny actually


ReindeerBollocks · 03/06/2011 23:37

More not morer.


cjbartlett · 03/06/2011 23:38

Grin Jasper
great idea Reindeer


queenceleste · 03/06/2011 23:39

i hate it too but feel I might have to join it eventually because for some people it's the only way to keep in touch.

What I really hate is that friends end up putting pictures of my kids on my dh's facebook pages which are fairly widely open to his 'friends'.

I just don't have enough say in it and don't like our kids' photos being put on a fairly leaky forum without my say so.


Birdsgottafly · 03/06/2011 23:44

I don't 'chat' on FB i play the games. We are warned in work about FB so i don't indulge, family are on there and i privately message them but don't do a daily or any, 'status'.

OP -Someone else that i know did a similar research project (for sociology)but did it via qualitative research methods, are you sure that you were actually supposed to go as far as setting up an account and what was the question that you were answering?

Is this thread real or have we all also just easily believed another lie, i find it ironic that there is criticism of FB from those that indulge in arguements and voice opinions to and with people they will never meet (and MN gets vicious) on a internet forum.


Birdsgottafly · 03/06/2011 23:48

Ah i see x posted, surely you answered that by just studing MN?

I don't find it funny that there are so many men that will easily add a young skimpy dressed girl. I also find it heartbreaking how many young girls from poor countries are obviously trying to 'pimp themselves' on FB.

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