Social Network Connective (Facial?) Tissue

Friendships are complicated and online friendships can be downright confounding.  I know people who have nearly a thousand Facebook friends and use their social networks for a variety of reasons, both personal and professional.  That seems to work for their purposes, but when it comes to people in my social network, I’m a less-is-more kind of gal.

I never considered this a “high standard” for creating a social connection and maybe it isn’t.  What’s clear, however, is that our friends at Google have drastically lowered the bar.  Enter:  People Hopper.  This exciting application opens up an entire world of potential new friends based on….wait for it… similar facial features.

I get what might be fun about People Hopper, but let’s be honest, it’s not “friends” we’re making when we reach out to someone who also has almond-shaped eyes and/or a prominent nose.  What are these connections and how do we define them?  This is a whole new landscape of “similarity” and “connection.”

This has me thinking:  Can we have it both ways or, when it comes to building online connections, do we ultimately have to choose one of the two words in “social network.”