AppEARaNcEs DO MaTTeR: A Study

I was going through my friends list on Facebook the other day because I was really surprised to see that I had 492 friends. So I went through them one by one, to see how many of them I didn’t know. And naturally there were a few organizations, like Capital City AIDS Fund because I have done events to raise money for AIDS research and ever since I participated in a 600-mile bicycle ride in 2001, I have been motivated to help that and other important charities. I’m friends with a handful of other charity organizations as well; many of them I am friends with on Facebook. My young nephew is autistic and because I’m fighting with my brother and his wife and they won’t allow me to see my nephews, I joined an Autism Organization so that I could be involved in the growing Autism crusade in this country. There’s a few other similar stories as to how I met certain friends I have on Facebook. I have made quite a few friends while playing Words With Friends and Quizboard. Those apps have chat boxes in them and if you enjoy conversing with people as much as I do, you try to strike up a conversation with the other players and often times, the other players are just as friendly.

All in all, there are 22 organizations, local businesses, charities, etc with whom I am friends on FB. I I have about 8 friends I’ve met online, 12 friends who are employees of the restaurant I co-own with my husband, 15 employees from our last restaurant, and then there were 28 friends I’m not sure how we connected but I didn’t know them and we had no mutual friends, so I deleted all 28 of them. There were also 12 businesses I somehow had as friends which were in Stockton and Modesto, and I have no clue how I became friends with them. Which leaves me with 452 friends. After taking off the above friends I have explained, I have 422 friends who I am actually friends with. That consists of employees, former co-workers, people we’ve met at parties and became friends with, etc. You’re probably thinking I was wildly popular in school. Au contrere, mon cher. I actually wasn’t popular, not at all. I thought popularity was stupid and I still do.. I did, however, attend the same school as a child from kindergarten through 8th grade, and then went to high school with a lot of the same people. We all knew each other and many stayed in contact. That’s what happens when you live in a small town.

But these statistics made me really think about a few things. FIrst of all, how often do I talk to any of these people? And of the ones I do talk to, how often is it that I talk to them and about what do we talk? Or is it more like small talk. Which further made me realize two things:

1) Do these people even care about me as a person, as a friend? Or am I just a way
them to pretend they have more friends than they actually do?

2) How did I end up friends with some of those ones I deleted? DId they see me and think I
was attractive so wanted me as their friends on Facebook so they could appear more
popular than they actually were?

Which led me to a great idea for a study that I could do on my own and write a blog about. The question in my study is this:

How easy is it for attractive people to find friends on Facebook, even if they don’t know
the people that are sending them friend requests?

I believe that this world is no different in a lot of the mindset today than it was in the 1950s; there are still plenty of sexist men who have the exact same beliefs as sexist men 50 years ago. I believe that if I were to create two fake Facebook accounts, one for a very attractive young woman and one a somewhat nerdy guy wearing glasses and a polo shirt.. I created accounts for both. I put in a picture I took of a beautiful young college student in a magazine for the girl, and a nerdy dude from an Apple magazine. I then added education, employment, interests, etc. When the next part came up, “Friend Suggestions”, I clicked the little “+” sign on as many people as Facebook suggested to me for each new account. I did absolutely nothing different from one to the other; I added University of Berkeley for one and University of Southern California for the other. I chose a minimum of 10 interests each, and to be honest, the interests were almost exactly the same: reading, writing, heavy metal music, and things which require a great deal of deep thinking, like Philosophy. I created an email address for both and the email address was just formatted like this: first.last@domain.com; very simple. I tried my absolute best to make all factors virtually the same and waited a week before I checked on either one of them. I didn’t want to touch anything within each person’s account.

The results of this study were astonishing, really. First of all, not only did almost every single person who I requested an add from accept, but some people requested friendship from her despite being a complete stranger. When all was said and done, she had 52 friends. In a week! 52 friends she didn’t even know. Some of the guys sent messages to her, as well. You know what the real kicker is? One of my friends asked to be her friend! I could not believe it. Then I checked the guys account. You won’t believe what the findings were. First of all, *laughing out loud for real*, the guy got a message from “Facebook Community Standards” telling him he was suspended for requesting friendships from people he doesn’t know. The message was sent two days after I opened the account and sent the friend requests. Guess how many friends he ended up having? One friend. One friend The nerdy guy got suspended for requesting too many friends he didn’t know and actually made one friend; The beautiful girl with blonde hair and hot clothes, made 52 friends.

What does this say not only about people, but about Facebook as well? Why should someone who is good looking be treated any differently than someone who is not graced with beauty? I sent an email to my friend telling her about the study, and then I asked her if she had a comment she would like to add, like what she thought when she saw the girl? I have no idea how she even saw this person, I put that the girl lives in San Francisco. I must have been completely coincidental that one of the suggestions for her was a friend or family member of one of my friends.
The reason I wanted to do this was this: you always hear people say that appearances don’t matter; I think that bologna. I am 38 years old and consider myself fairly good-looking but I have been called beautiful, sexy, stunning…and my whole life I have been treated differently. Especially after I had breast augmentation at 23 years old. I always regretted it, although there were times I enjoyed the attention I got from guys, but there were just as many if not more times I didn’t like it–I didn’t want to be treated differently. I wanted to show that people are just as shallow now as they were fifty years ago.

You come to your own conclusions! If you would like to know the names of the people I created, just send me a comment and I will individually tell you, I don’t want to get in trouble from Facebook…

Here is a photo of the beautiful girl I created a fake account for:

20130617-012053.jpg

**Update**

I sent the following message to Facebook via their help forum and “suggestions”:

“I created this fake account with a photo of a very pretty girl; I also created a fake account of a very nerdy boy. Both were given “suggestions”, and for both I attempted to add all of the people suggested to me. The results of this are very interesting and would like to know if Facebook would like to comment on this:
The beautiful girl had a ton of friends at the end of a week. Even one of my real friends somehow found out about Mercedes Destiny and asked to be her friend. I’ve received messages and posts on my wall but other than adding, I have not been active on the page.
The nerdy guy page was handled exactly the same way. Do you want to know how you guys handled HIM? He was blocked from sending friend requests after just 2 days and at the end of a week, just like Mercedes, he had a whopping ONE FRIEND.

It’s pretty apparent that Facebook doesn’t hold everyone to the same rules, would you care to comment on this? I will be reporting these findings to the person who offers me the most money or noteriety for discovering this. Unless you have something to say I will be sending this to a news channel. *(I will not be doing this, I was just messing with Facebook. I hate big companies like this!)*

Thank you very much for your time, Facebook

Sincerely,

*Oh Wouldn’t You Like to Know*

**I don’t guess I will be hearing back from them, nor will the account be left open for very much longer! Please, send me your comments!!

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