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Facebook: The Mutual Friend Blessing…and Curse

Dear Facebook Mobile App,

Thank you for providing me with a guaranteed ice breaker everytime I meet someone new.


Samia Khan, Social Media Addict

My new FB friend (and the inspiration for this post)

OK so I have this rule. If we hang out for at least 15 minutes, and we interact to the extent to which I know your name,  I will then care enough to read your status updates for the rest of my life… yes, I will indeed Facebook friend you.

In fact, it happened earlier this afternoon at my high school friend Kirsten’s bridal party (also known as the “let’s give Kirsten lots of kitchenware so she has to invite us over to dinner one day” party.) I hang out with her friend, Christina, throughout the afternoon. As the shindig wound down, I looked her up (yes, WHILE we’re still hanging out) on Facebook, and discovered…THREE MUTUAL FRIENDS.

The name that catches me off guard? Comedian Kevin Avery. Immediately we play the “OMG how do YOU know Kevin Avery?” game (no, this is not an actual game), and both elaborate on each our individual stories and comedy and…yeah… next thing you know, life stories have been laid out and we’re both smiling and giggling and have, in that moment, become real friends.

Yep. We bonded. If I were to ever visit Seattle in life, I would definitely message her and at least get a coffee (yes, coffee. Not tea. Not dinner. But coffee. It’s Seattle, it’s what they’re known for.)

So today’s situation got me thinkin about the Facebook “mutual friend” function (let’s call it MFf for short. Yes, I actually just used the mathematical symbol for “function” – I miss algebra.)

Whether it’s an old high school friend, a former flame, a co-worker, a relative, or someone you accidentally friended during a crazy night out… every person (and your relationship with said-person) has a backstory, and your new friend has their own backstory with those same mutual friends. Solution to bonding with your new friend?

The MFf: 

  • Tell stories about mutual friends.
  • The more incriminating, the better.
  • Joke.
  • Laugh.
  • Solidify friendship.

It’s that moment when your Facebook friend goes from an italicized version of the word friend to just a real…friend.

On the flipside, the MFf can also be a curse. What happens when someone knows someone you had a falling out with (who you just so happen to be FB friends with?) Perhaps it’s a friend of your ex? An arch nemesis who you’re socially keeping as an FB friend to avoid more drama? My friend Neil actually judges people based on which mutual friends are listed. Have a D-Bag as a mutual friend? Good luck getting Neil to be anything more than digitally connected to you.

So now I would like to open up this “Khanversation”… what do you, my friends, think about the MFf  concept? Are you a lover like me, or a hater like Neil? Ever had an unforgettable “OMG, how do you know this person” story? Please tell me. I need blog inspiration. And new Facebook friends.



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(1) Comment

  1. I know for a fact you’ve been using the MFf for a while. You used it when we met.

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