Thursday, February 25, 2010

We Have A Mutual Friend

With the advancement of computer technology, more and more online social networks are popping up allowing us to stay connected with friends. Now with a click of a button I can know what my friends across the world are up to. Who are these friends though? Ian my best friend in Provo? Natalie my old roommate? Jane the girl who sat next to me in my second grade class? Eric that one guy I met at a party three weeks ago?

Networks like Facebook are creating an environment where within seconds I can know large amounts of personal information about people I may or may not know in reality, but according to Facebook we are "friends". I can look at their pictures, learn about their interests, get their number, see who they work for, read about what they did recently, and figure out our mutual friends so I can then learn about those people and possibly become "friends". Many times these "friendships" never amount to anything and result in interactions and relationships that are not real.

In the style of Sophie Calle, I decided to let my "mutual friends" know that I am out there and could possibly be their friend in real life if they would like. Using Facebook I identified individuals that looked interesting and who have similar friends as me, but that I did not know. I then figured out where they lived using only information that they willing posted for the public to access and dropped off my picture at their house.
On the back of the photo I wrote the name of the friend we have in common and then placed the photo in an envelope addressed to my new "friend" with directions to "find me".

I made sure that the friend we have in common was someone that I interact with regularly and would be able to recognize me from the clues I left in the photograph, namely the background tapestry, my favorite lace blouse, and the henna tattoo.

Potential "Friends": (all information collected from Facebook)

"Friend": Alexandria Swan
Mutual Friend: Christine Armbruster
Alexandria usually goes by Alex. She is from Henderson, Nevada and her parents names are Anna and Steve. She likes sailing, Mayan cutlture, and loves cookies, which she mentions three times on her profile page. She is engaged to Troy Treanor from Portland, Oregon. Almost three years ago she procrastinated on a HEPE test by going to Wendy's. She did not regret it.

"Friend": Dave Adamusko
Mutual Friend: Erin Gillis
Dave is a BYU Marriage and Family Therapy graduate student from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Not too long ago he completed a two year mission to Peru. After serving for the LDS church he traveled around Peru and visited Machu Picchu. He normally wears contacts, but occasionally he wears small wire-rimmed glasses. His only interest is to become better.

"Friend": Tami Flagg
Mutual Friend: Rico Christiansen
Tami is from a family of six and has an identical twin. She loves Twilight and she considers the Superbowl a major holiday. When she gets married she wants her wedding song to be "When You Say You Love Me" by Josh Groban. Tami loves when she feels skinny and healthy and enjoys playing and watching sports, specifically volleyball. She recently went on a road trip to San Francisco. She also appreciates optimism in other people and trys to be optimistic herself.

"Friend": Kimball Hicks
Mutual Friend: Alex Murdoch
Kimball likes a wide spread of music including The Shins, Guster, Led Zeplin, Rise Against, and Jazz music. In January he participated in a ping pong tournament in the Wilkinson Center and attended a half pipe competition. He likes to dress up in costumes and enjoys watching history channel shows. He loves to ski.

In order for Alex, Dave, Tami, and Kimball to find me they will have to use a little detective work, but nothing too trying. Hopefully, they will ask the mutual friend about the picture, the friend will recognize me, tell them my name, and then the perosn will look me up on Facebook. Currently my profile picture is the same photo as the one I dropped off, but with my face uncovered.
The mystery will be solved and we then will be able to be connected forever as Facebook "friends" if they choose.

Let us make this friendship real. Find me.


  1. This idea is awesome! Facebook is full of information and the sheer fact that you could develop little paragraphs about each of these people is great. I like the way you used things that are telling about you to characterize yourself in a photo. I am so curious to know if some of these people contact you!

  2. This is an incredible idea. Way to put yourself out there!

  3. you're brave! I really like the theme, its an excellent point to make.

  4. I love this idea. It's just crazy enough to be entertaining and it's a great execution. I assume you pulled the photos off of facebook? You should let us know what happens with this experiment.

  5. Such an interesting idea! Sort of an expose on the meaninglessness of facebook friends. You definitely put yourself out there, very Sophie Calle

  6. I agree with Cassandra - this is indeed very Sophie Calle. This was extremely creative and a great project to draw from our facebook-crazed culture. Well done!

  7. as i said before, i think this is a fantastic project... it's interesting to think that people would want to put all this kind of information about themselves out there for all to see, and i wonder if it shows how narcissistic or how attention craved we are. props.