Tag Archives: kevin bacon

the facebook friendship danger

“aren’t you scared of meeting your facebook friends?”

i have heard that question so often that i sometimes don’t give it the attention it deserves.  certainly, meeting a facebook friend whom you’ve known for years poses few dangers.  meeting a facebook friend who is a relative even fewer (except for possible crying jags).   the gal you sang in the church choir with but moved to st. louis?  please!  but what about facebook friends you’ve never actually physically met?

kathryn barnes went to wales to meet some new facebook friends and she was last seen at swansea's high street train station on january 4. while all her contact information has been stripped from her account, facebook of course would still have it. her mother is frantic. if i were her mother, i'd be frantic too!


the short answer to the question of whether i’m afraid is no.  the reason is that every time i meet a new facebook friend, i bring a chaperone.  during the past year, i have never taken a trip without someone there.  preferably someone who knows how to drive at night (i’m not great at it) and can carry my bags if necessary.  having the initials joseph leiber presser certainly helps as well–and my son is a wonderful chaperone and once shooed off a facebook gentleman friend who entirely misinterpreted the nature of my new years resolution.  it was “arlynn meets all of her facebook friends” not “arlynn does all of her facebook friends”. . . the chaperone who took me to mexico city was a captain in the u.s. army, twenty six years old, nothing romantic going on but he was determined i would make it there and back.  the first thing he did when we got there is something i think all american travelers should consider–he walked me from the hotel to the american embassy, making me memorize the landmarks along the way and everywhere we went in mexico city, he referenced where we were in relation to the embassy.  it seemed paranoid but really, he knew that if we ever got separated or if something disastrous happened, i was heading straight to the embassy and asking for a cheeseburger and an american flag thermal fleece blanket!

having a chaperone usually doesn’t cause a problem.  we all understand the world is a place that contains a few crazies.  sometimes i think my facebook friends have come to like my chaperones.

blaise pascal was a mathematician and philosopher. he'd probably wager that having a chaperone is unnecessary but that the horrors of the damage created by the one time i would need a chaperone are so great that i was wise to just use one every time. he had some stuff about atheism, God and hell along the same lines.


i have had facebook friends who are within such a geographical distance that i have made exceptions.  for those facebook friends, the rule has to be public place.  must meet in a public place.  and in those circumstances, i always let someone know where i was going and with whom and for how long.

caribou coffee is the second largest retail distributor of coffee in america (guess the first and you'll win a prize). coffee shops were created for the purpose of meeting people. use them!


there were a few facebook friends from the previous year who insisted on the absolute forbidden:  meeting alone at one or the other’s house.  these friends are part of that ten percent i never saw.  they wouldn’t back down on those “i’ll bring a bottle of something special over to your house tonight” terms.  one gentleman friend whom i have never met was driving to my house because i had made that exception . . . but i had not one but two chaperones with me. . . i explained my two friends would join us.  and i later got a text saying my facebook friend’s cousin had been jailed for speeding and my friend was called away.  how inexplicable but average.

i’m sure that kathryn barnes is all right.  her facebook friends have been cooperating with police.  she might just have had a tiff with her mother and wanted some time off.  she might have wanted to create an entirely new life for herself.  she might not even know that anybody is worried about her.  or there may be something totally off.  totally wrong.  totally nancy grace.  oddly, facebook now reports that all of its users are now within four degrees of separation from each other.  which means if you have a facebook account, you know someone who knows someone who is kathryn’s friend.   which makes me wonder if there was a facebook friend she had recently added, someone who isn’t part of the storyline.  this puzzle could be solved.

kevin bacon has been in so many diverse movies that a game was devised called "six degrees of separation" in which kevin could be linked to any hollywood star through his movie roles. facebook allows you to be kevin bacon but even more closely connected.

so am i afraid to meet facebook friends?  well, not on a physical danger level.  i’m more just anxious.  that’s part of who i am.  one day i will learn to own the entire anxiety piece of me.  in the meantime, i have had a wonderful year of meeting facebook friends and this year’s new years resolution is to meet twelve facebook friends who want me to make a difference for them.  i have two lined up for late january early february.  i have a friend in  st. louis who is going to get out of the “safe” zone for a cardinals game.  i have to take what i was given last year–which was a lot of time, friendship, frequent flyer miles, homemade dinners, a garmin gps system, a william clark doll to remind me that i’m an explorer, a portrait, a courage bracelet,  and a whole lot of chaperoning. . . and i have to give that back to others.  without any fear.


p.s. if you have any information on kathryn, please call the swansea police at 0110 01792 654 844 she’s a beautiful gal and she needs to be known to be safe.


a little loco and less than five degrees away from . . . everybody on facebook!

a newly released facebook study claims that we are only 4.74 degrees of separation from any other person who uses facebook.  and if you’re looking for a stranger who is from the same country, that separation drops to three people.  so that means that i am one friend away from a friend of kevin bacon.

a game called six degrees of separation from kevin bacon establishes the links between every person in the movie industry to bacon. the game was invented at albright college by bored students in a pre-facebook era.

after thanksgiving dinner, i met f2fb friend #263 macon foscue the 4th.  he buys and sells precious metals as ceo of chicago precious metals.  in this time of economic crash and burn, he thinks precious metals are a great investment.  if i had enough money, i would buy gold and silver.  possibly at tiffany’s.

why does santa only say ho? i thought he was supposed to say ho ho ho! is it that santa is trying to cut corners on his vocabulary? or is it more tawdry than that? all the christmas stuff in store windows are reminding me that i have only a few short weeks to visit the remaining facebook friends on my list.

the next day i met up with friends #264 vijay sarthy and #265 don graf.  the two men have been friends ever since vijay–an opthamologist by day–auditioned for the village follies, a fundraiser variety show put on every year at the winnetka community house.  and during the summer, the two men are part of a group that keeps a standing golf appointment from memorial day weekend to labor day.  as part of my f2fb project, i’m going to audition for the show as well.  i might have to take something a bit bracing before i put on those dancing shoes.

i know vijay because he is the stepfather of f2fb friend #25 max henderson.  max is my older son joseph’s best friend and max stayed with us the day that his father colvin succumbed to cancer.  i have not spent a lot of time with vijay and i was charmed by his quick wit.  i know don mostly through other friends.  don is a dj for soirees at various north shore hot spots.  we spent some time reminiscing and trading stories about mutual friends.

as we were about to part,don said that even though we didn’t know each other very well, he had a present from him and vijay.

special golf balls just for me!!!!


i had to ask them about their game.  i was surprised by their response.

to read more, go to http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/11/22/facebook-claims-474-degrees-kevin-bacon/