This week’s Art Experience was really interesting because it was a pretty cool, hands-on way for us to visualize how we, as students, are all connected in one form or another. I got to class a little early, so I saw the 1:00 pm class finishing up pinning their little nodes to the wall and connecting to one another. I looked around and did not recognize any faces in that class to connect to, so I decided to stick my node on the wall, head to the galleries for my Artist Conversation, and come back to see if anybody had connected to me. When I got back, I saw more people from the 2:30 class, and I noticed that I had four new connections! It was really cool to see the progression of the project as a whole because there were strings going in so many different directions!
It looks a little small, so you might have to zoom in a bit, but I did my own Social Network on my computer and made it with some of different groups of friends. The red circles indicate some of my really good friends that I made in my elementary school through my first two years in high school at a private, Catholic high school. The orange circles indicate some of the friends that I made during my last two years of high school at a public high school. The green circles indicate my “Greek” family. In September, I became a member of the Delta Gamma sorority, and in sororities you get a big sister. My “Big” is McKenzie, her “Big” is Christine, and Christine’s “Big” is Jordan. The blue circles also indicate friends that I made through my sorority but who are not in my “Greek” family. It would be pretty cool to try and draw out all of my friendships and see how people connected within that, but I think that would take a while. For now, here are just a few of those connections…
- Do you think of the term “Social Network” as applying to your RL life and your RL, physical friends? Or mostly to Online & Mobile tools that connect you to people in cyberspace?
Personally, I do think of the term “Social Network” as applying to my real life and real, physical friends. I use it to stay connected to my family, friends and people I know. I guess I just like to see what the people I know art up to! I don’t really use it in the other sense, which was to connect to people I meet in cyberspace. I’m not against it or anything, I just don’t do it.
- Does Dunbar’s Number make sense to you? That we can only have around 150 truly meaningful relationships, and any others we know will be in more fragmentary ways?
Dunbar’s Number does kind of make sense to me, but I definitely don’t think it applies to everybody in the same way. Dunbar’s Number suggests that there is some limit, maybe about 150 people, that one person can have stable social relationships with. “150 truly meaningful relationships” can vary with each person. What is a meaningful relationship? I spend different amounts of time with many different people on a weekly basis, but does that mean our relationships are meaningful? I don’t know exactly.
- What does it mean to have 1,000 or 2,000 or 5,000 Facebook “friends”? Who are these people? What sorts of relationships do you have to them?
I used to think that the more Facebook “friends” you had, the cooler you were. However, I’ve learned that that number literally does not matter at all. The word “friends” is used a little loosely, in my opinion. I think to have 1,000 or 2,000 or 5,000 Facebook “friends” means you simply have a lot of connections. You are connected to them in some form or another. These Facebook “friends” could actually be people you are close to OR they could be complete strangers that sent you a friend request and you decided to accept for some reason! Who knows? For me, I think they are people I have met over time and either still keep in contact with or have lost touch with. But overall, I think it should be called more of like a Facebook “connection” than a “friend”.
- When we visualized our Art110 Social Network, or when you visualized your personal Social Network, did anything surprise you? Did you find any connections or relationships that you hadn’t thought about or realized any different connections?
Overall, nothing really surprised me about the Social Network. I knew everybody had connections in some form or another, whether they knew each other before this class, met during a Classmate Conversation or did an ART 110 Activity together. I was expecting to see strings stretching all over the place. None of my connections really surprised me either because I had met them all through Classmate Conversations.
- What’s your Personal Number? How many people would you like to have close relationships with in your life? 1? 10? 100? 1,000?
I initially thought my Personal Number would be small, like maybe around 10-20. However, after really thinking about it, I think I have made a lot more close relationships in my life than I thought, and maybe my number is about 60+. Just typing that feels kind of funny because it looks like a big number, but I do think I have opened myself up enough to people to consider them as being someone I have a close relationship with.
- Do you have more “friends” on Facebook or some other platform than are truly your “friends”? What is your relationship to those “extra friends”? Have these weak ties ever brought you new resources like a job opening, someone to date, a cool event, info for something you were working on, etc?
I do think I have more Facebook “friends”, Instagram followers and Twitter followers than are actually my true “friends”. I think those “extra friends” or followers are just people who are interested in my life in some way and want to see what I have to post about on these social media platforms. Sometimes these connections are made through mutual friends or they can be completely random. Off the top of my hand, I can’t really think of any way these weak ties ever brought me new resources like the ones mentioned above, at least not yet anyways…