This weeks art activity was to create a physical social network with the rest of the class and make a more personal network on paper. In class we made a big network with everyone. It did get very full in the room we were making the network in though, but luckily we I was able to get there relatively early. This did leave it so that I wasn’t able to see the end result, but I can’t wait to see the fully realized product. For my personal one I used a mix of people I know from work, college, high school, and my own family. I used the different colors separate the groups. Doing this I realized that many of the different friend groups could potentially become one group due to the types of friends I make. If put together they would most likely all get along well.
I mainly associate the term social network to online tools because I think it is kind of weird when you refer to your friends as a network. When I meet people I don’t want to try and make them part of my network, but want instead to make them a good friend. In this way I hope to make a stronger friendship and one that lasts a long time. That being said, I do think that Dunbar’s Number makes a lot of sense. I do try to make a great impression on people in hope of having that relationship last a long time because it is likely that I will not be able to interact and keep in touch regularly with that person. Personally I find myself pretty busy everyday so I am not able to keep up with everyone else’s lives all of the time even though it would be awesome if I could.
I think having 1000’s of Facebook friends can mean a number of things depending on what you do on a day to day business. If your job is to network with people all of the time then you probably dedicate more time to preserving those relationships. If you don’t spend that time then the connections can be a lot weaker and more prone to fading into obscurity. When making my own social network, I did realize that the people who popped into my head first were the ones I work with or see on a daily and weekly basis. I would have to concentrate on peoples face and name to recall people not as close as those I had written down.
Personally, I would love to be able to have a close relationship with everyone in the world in order to gain a better understanding of the world and the problems that occur in the world. Although this would be awesome I know that it is physically impossible, so being realist I would say probably 50. This number may still be kind of big just due to my schedule now, but I think it is a good number to strive for in order to keep people close and have a fairly large group to rely on. I think I may have a few friends on Facebook who I only met briefly and were not able to make a really strong bond. I think I is good to have these weaker ties though, because if you are only friends with people you are close to then you are sort of closed off to new opportunities and perspective.