Click OK to add as friend

Once upon a time, in the not-too-distant pre-Friendster past, my definition of a friend was fairly straightforward – someone I trust who I can bitch, cry, debate and laugh with. My expectation of a friend was equally simple too – just hold my hair back when I vomit after a drink too many. And keep your fingers off my girl.

With social networks such as Facebook, Friendster, MySpace,and LinkedIn mushrooming in our virtual lives as part of the Web 2.0 wave, the definition of a friend has somewhat gotten bastardized along the way. These days, with a swift click on the OK button, your ex-colleague’s sister’s ex-classmate’s brother can be automatically granted a friendship.

Call me old-fashioned, but one with 1.5 million friends on MySpace should really go get a life and find some real friends to have coffee with. Instead of reskinning your MySpace profile page, perhaps you should consider decorating your apartment? Instead of sharing videos online, perhaps you should considering catching a movie with a friend? I may have an active blog, but at least I have a real life.

Yes, really I do have a life, I’m just really good with time management these days.

The nature of my job requires me to keep abreast of the current marketing and technology advancements on the Internet. As such, I registered myself on the major social networking players, mostly as an observer.

I have to admit that both Facebook and LinkedIn are great business-oriented network channels where I can socialize virtually with colleagues from offices around the world. Rather useful, should I decide to work in another country in the future. Besides that, nothing beats learning little quirks about your clients & colleagues without asking (i.e. your client enjoys jazz, so be sure to bring her to a jazz bar the next time you meet for drinks).

While I do not consider social networks a primarily choice for forming new friendships, I fully acknowledge that it’s just as daft expecting to find a lifelong friend during Ladies’ Night at a club.

What do you use social networks for? I would imagine the following purposes:

Birthday reminders: to appear as though you really could be arsed to remember someone’s birthday
Friends’ Profile information: to ensure you don’t flaunt your homosexuality knowing your client’s a devout Catholic
Your Profile information: to feed your ego with constant updates and deceive yourself that the 300 friends on your list really give a fuck
Connection: to avoid that morning-after-sex awkwardness should you bump into your new girlfriend’s sister in the kitchen – who you’ve slept with 2 weeks earlier
The Ex: to stupidly indulge in angst, jealousy and sorrow by checking their “life-is-so-good-after-you” profiles updates

Anymore to add?


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