I am turning 25 in 2010, meaning that I have accumulated 25-years worth of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Being in the internet-child age group, a lot of these people are on Facebook.
Today, I came across a person I don't know who I share seventy mutual friends with on Facebook. SEVENTY. Can you imagine how big a number that is? That's probably more people than I met in the whole of 2009. Which started me thinking...
(ya lateef :)
How do your real-life networks reflect on your digital networks? In my 25 years of acquaintance accumulation, I have hopped from circle to circle.
My first circle was my family: my parents, my brothers, and a few cousins who are more than just distant family.
My second circle was elementary school, followed third by highschool, and these two circles mix and mingle with the first circle to form a nice fourth family friends circle (I refer to this circle as "Riyadh" in the diagrams below).
Up to this point, 95% of the first four circles of my life are based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Hello, Riyadh people.
Then I turn 18, and I move to Amman, Jordan, and join Jordan University.
My fifth circle is just that- my university friends. My close university friends were all either Saudi-Arabia raised or New-English-school bred, and with that, even my fifth circle sort of my mingles with the first half of my life.
Quickly, I decide that typical Amman people are not really my cup of Pepsi, and I wander into the World Wide Web in search of sweeter flavors. I get involved with the sixth circle, people I met online, which forms quite a solid mass in my friend plotter. I meet Moose, my future family. I meet Hala, Lina, and Naseem, who are friends ranging from good-friends to hey-there-acquaintances. I also meet Ahmad, who I know work for (not the one in the illustration below, that's actually Ahmed), and Ibra, who I now work with.
Through Ahmad and Syntax, my final and seventh circle of my life so far is formed, the Work Circle. Most of the people who are in this circle now are my current closest friends.
Yes. Facebook actually just let me have a very reflective couple of hours on the very nature of my life and the people involved with my life.
For those with attention spans as short as mine... fret not. I have made good use of Illustrator, probably the best software ever (after Firefox) to explain exactly what I mean.