Weird Social Networking Experience

Lately I’ve been drifting out of library science literature and reading more-ACM type literature to get a different perspective on the whole social networking thing.  One point that has been brought up several times in discussing the difference between Facebook and MySpace is that Facebook, with its networks based on educational or professional affiliations, is primarily used to build upon existing off-line relationships.  MySpace, on the other hand, is much more of a free-for-all and encourages online-only relationships.

Reading that was totally an Oprah-esque ‘A-ha’ moment for me and explained one of the reasons why I’m so much more comfortable on Facebook.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m a misanthrope, but I have no desire to go out and make a huge circle of friends.  Facebook is just an avenue for me to maintain contact with people I already know from real life – primarily co-workers and friends from library school.  (Although that has changed recently…I’ve been getting a lot of “friend” requests from librarians that I’ve never met in person. )  So I generally don’t have to worry about dealing with strangers.

I thought the same was going to be true for my Zune Social account.   Earlier this week, however, I got a friend request from someone I don’t know.  At least I don’t think I do.  I asked and he (at least I think it was a he) was very coy about it.  From what I can gather, this person somehow stumbled upon my profile – which is open to the public, after all – and liked my taste in music* so decided to “friend” me.   I’m kinda weirded out by it, but I guess there’s really no harm done.   I just never really thought of Zune Social as something other than a place to share music with the few people I know that have Zunes.

*For the record, here’s my current list of top listened to artists for this month: Fatboy Slim, Gogol Bordello, Lilly Allen, Thelonius Monk, Presidents of the United States of America, Mika, Amy Winehouse, Green Day, Sharon Jones, The Breeders, The White Stripes, The Clash, Dave Brubek, Limp Bizkit, Dropkick Murphys, Weezer, Charlie Parker, Sublime, Kanye West, Dizzy Gilespie, Bud Powell, Beastie Boys, Charles Mingus, and Nirvana.  It’s really only a weird combination unless you know that I like to listen to up tempo stuff on my walk into work, stuff that will not distract me while at my desk,  and jazz on the walk home to decompress.

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