I have two Facebook profiles – one is the private me, and my “Friends” are mostly family, folks from high school, and other people I know in real life. I have to *know* you – as in you are in the bloodline or were on my Christmas card list at some point in my life in order for me to approve the request. I try to keep that account as far removed from my public account as possible – to the extent that you can’t be riends with both of me. I can get quite Nazi-ish about it. Even my mom had to create a whole new profile if she wanted to see both. (Of course, this also led to me hurt Rhonda Nelson's feelings once... sigh.)
My public Kimberly Lang profile – the one where I use a book cover instead of a picture of myself -- is very public. I don’t put anything on that page that I don’t mind total strangers seeing. (No pictures of AC there.) Anyone can be my friend. I know some folks are just friending me for the sake of friending me, but that’s okay. I don’t mind in the least.
Usually when I get a friend request, Facebook tells me how many friends I have in common with this person. It tends to be a lot – over 100 on average – because if someone has become friends with one author, they’ll usually friend other authors as well. (And other authors friend everyone too, so we always have tons of people in common.) Facebook searches your friends’ friends and makes helpful suggestions about “People You May Know.” So if you’re friends with one of my friends, eventually you’ll see me pop up as a suggestion.
Last week, I got a friend request, and when I went to approve it, I noticed something very strange: we had no friends in common. None. Nada. Zip. I had to go investigate. I figured this person must be new to Facebook and hadn’t had a chance to friend all the Presents authors. Maybe I could suggest a few. Be friendly, you know.
My new friend had one of those names with lots of consonants that Southerners just can’t get their tongues around. We’ll just call him “Z.” Z is in his mid-twenties and lives in Albania. He likes soccer and models and is obviously bi-lingual based on his few wall posts. He has well over 100 friends already – most of whom seem to be from that part of the world (based solely on networks and surnames). So why did he friend me? How did he even find me? I had to look up Albania on a map. (It’s above Greece on the Adriatic Sea, FYI.)
(Remember, my profile is open. He could see who I was before he sent the friend request. I don’t think he could mistake me for another Kimberly Lang. Unless there’s another one writing for Presents…)
So, Z and I are now friends. I’m mystified about why, but we are. A few days later, I get a friend request from another consonant-laden name. We have one mutual friend. I clicked through, and sure enough, our mutual friend was Z. My new friend, we’ll call him “Q,” is also a 20-something male Albanian who likes soccer and models *and* cars (I think. It could be anything since I can’t read Albanian.) So now I’m friends with Q, too, and learning a lot more about Albania.
I got another request two days ago. We have two friends in common. You can figure out the rest.
I’m happy to have FaceBook friends from all around the world. The more the merrier. I’m not complaining. I’m just confused how I ended up on the radar of three 20-something Albanian males who don’t seem to have an interest in romance novels. Can you even get my books in Albania? They don’t seem to be aspiring writers, either.
Of course, then I start getting paranoid. The reasons three 20-something Albanian males would Friend me on Facebook can only be nefarious…
They could be fans, you know. Maybe they’re part of a Book Club and my book was the chosen selection and now they’re big fans.
They read the blog? Hmmm.
(Guys, if you’re reading this, let me know. I’m curious.)
Are you on Facebook? Who’s the most surprising Friend request you’ve gotten? (On my personal page, a guy I hated in high school – and who hated me – sent a Friend request. No, I’m not over it yet. I carry grudges for a long time.) If you’re not on Facebook, why?
I hope all you Honorary Playfriends will friend me on Facebook!
Kylie Brant joins us tomorrow on the Playground!