Minn. man attempts to meet all Facebook friends face-to-face - FOX 35 News Orlando

Minn. man attempts to meet all Facebook friends face-to-face

Posted: Updated:

When a friend request is accepted on Facebook, does it really mean two people are friends? One Minnesota man says yes, and he is going out of his way to meet every person on his friend's list.

Mikel McLaughlin is a St. Thomas law graduate who just passed the Minnesota bar exam -- but before he gets a real job, he wanted to go on a journey. So far, McLaughlin says he's been pleasantly surprised by how a simple gesture of wanting to enhance a friendship on Facebook can go a long way.

With more than a billion users, the social-networking behemoth continues to be integral part of many people's lives. Old and new friends alike are just a click away.

"I had 302 [Facebook friends] when I started this," McLaughlin told Fox 9 News.

The 35-year-old's social experiment involves testing the strength of those online bonds by asking people to sit down with him in person.

"I'm going for quality over quantity," he explained. "I want quality time with people."

In the process, he hoped he'd also find some meaning.

"I don’t know what everybody's meaning is, but I'm trying to figure out what mine is," he said.

For the past month, McLaughlin has crisscrossed the West Coast, reconnecting with Facebook friends he hasn't seen in years.

"One friend took me to Yellowstone National Park for the first time," he said.

For some of his Facebook friends, it was the first time they'd met in real life.

"I got to do a ride-along with a police officer, and that's someone that I've never met," McLaughlin said.

Each encounter ends up on McLaughlin's blog, but he's not on the journey alone. In Bloomington, his wife, Sage, handles all the tech support and she said this experience has enhanced their relationship.

"If this is something he wants to do and it's going to make him happy, then it's only going to make me happy," Sage McLaughlin told Fox 9 News.

Which may be why, in the midst of writing about all his friends, Michael McLaughlin decided to write about his best friend on Day 31 of his experiment after realizing that distance can make a heart grow fonder.

"I just thought, 'Huh, I couldn't be married to anyone any better," he said.

With hundreds of sit-downs in random coffee shops and restaurants still left to complete, he's already planning his next meeting -- and may even make some more Facebook friends.

MORE: We're friends, right?

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Biggest MNsure vendor withdraws from health care exchange

    Biggest MNsure vendor withdraws from health care exchange

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-09-17 00:36:54 GMT
    PreferredOne, the insurance company with the lowest rates and highest number of enrolled patients, is withdrawing from the MNsure health care exchange.
    PreferredOne, the insurance company with the lowest rates and highest number of enrolled patients, is withdrawing from the MNsure health care exchange.
  • VIDEO: Watch 150 MN National Guard troops reunite with families

    VIDEO: Watch 150 MN National Guard troops reunite with families

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 1:15 PM EDT2014-09-16 17:15:19 GMT
    Nearly 150 soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard were reunited with their families Tuesday morning in Inver Grove Heights. The soldiers are part of the 114th Transportation Company based out of Chisholm and have spent the last 9 months serving in Afghanistan.
    Nearly 150 soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard were reunited with their families Tuesday morning in Inver Grove Heights. The soldiers are part of the 114th Transportation Company based out of Chisholm and have spent the last 9 months serving in Afghanistan.
  • WANTED: Man robs woman, beats senior into coma days later

    WANTED: Man robs woman, beats senior into coma days later

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:49:51 GMT
    He's accused of robbing a Minneapolis woman and then beating and robbing a senior citizen just two days later, and now, Minneapolis police are asking the public to help them find Abdirizak Salad.
    He's accused of robbing a Minneapolis woman and then beating and robbing a senior citizen just two days later, and now, Minneapolis police are asking the public to help them find Abdirizak Salad.
Widgets Magazine
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices