Be My Friend(ster)

There was an article in The Cynic recently advocating thefacebook.com. I would like to provide an alternative to this waste-of-time internet networking system with a different waste-of-time internet networking system; one that has been around far longer than Facebook and is far superior in all degrees: It is called Friendster. Unlike Facebook, which allows you only limited access to those outside of your own college’s network, Friendster does not discriminate. This is not to say that Friendster allows just any psycho to contact you; they go through degrees of separation, somewhat like that Kevin Bacon game. Not that I would really ever consider using Friendster to meet a new person- that’s just kind of weird, and besides, I don’t need it.

My striking good looks, sparkling personality, and charming yet witty insights have always been enough to get me by. Besides, my game is at its best at loud and rowdy weekend social gatherings, and sadly, Friendster is neither a bar nor an off-campus party. But, Friendster is so helpful for keeping in touch with old friends, especially the kind whom you don’t REALLY want to keep in touch with, like you don’t want to go out to lunch with them or call them or whatever, but whom you might want to keep updated with events going on at local places where you are sure to be, so that you can say, “What’s up?” and move on. Plus you can check their profiles and consider that a way of staying in touch, too, without ever having to speak or write a word to them. Friendster has this bulletin board feature that allows you to post messages to everyone on your friends list, anything from invitations to nights you are bartending somewhere or throwing a party, to birthday wishes, to general announcements, to the kind of annoying forwards you might normally receive in your email inbox.

What’s great about Friendster, though, is that you’ve got a choice about whether to check those postings; it’s much less intrusive than having an email sent directly to you offering some dumb joke or urging you to sign some dumb treaty. Plus, Friendster allows you to post multiple pictures, not just one, like Facebook! So, you can see not just one slammin’ picture of me but six! Oh, and I think I just inadvertently gave away that I did join Facebook, too. Well, it was under duress, and I suppose it’s for the best, but it really doesn’t compare. I mean, it’s not like I can’t do college searches and such on Friendster, but Friendster allows me to keep in touch with those so terribly non-elite UVM-goers, too. Have I mentioned the testimonials yet? This is perhaps the best part of Friendster. People write really good things about you! Or funny things, or sometimes embarrassing; but always, having lots of them makes you look cool and popular (well, as cool and popular as you can be on an online networking system). A couple of examples of testimonials I have received: “Natalie is one of those people who you can sit with in a park for many hours in the freezing cold and rain, and she will never complain. She never makes you feel uncomfortable or unwanted, yet you can do your own thing without ever needing to think twice about her perception of you. Truly one of the chillest cats I’ve ever had the chance to be with. She truly lives up to no strings being attached.” Then there was, “I haven’t seen Natalie in almost four years, nor have I been in very close contact with her… but I miss her so much! Natalie is always good for a laugh, sillyness, blowing your mind with how f*****g smart she is, and the occasional singing of Sesame Street songs. Natalie has always been one of the most unique and stimulating people that I have ever met and I’m sure she’s charming the hell out of UVM just like she did in FVL. I hope you are doing well Natalie, write me an email, or message sometime! I miss you! Oh, and say hi to Julian for me.” (I must say that Julian Brizzi getting a shout-out on MY testimonial makes me less than pleased. Oh, yeah… Julian’s on Friendster, too. And Facebook.) There’s lots that are even better than the aforementioned, but for the sake of propriety I probably shouldn’t put them in the newspaper. If you’d like to see the rest of my testimonials (of course you do), your only choice is to go to friendster.com, sign up, and request me as a friend. I write really good testimonials, too. Trust me, they’re hilarious. So don’t worry, yours is on the way.

One final note: So, I know I am a closet nerd (or maybe not so closeted), but I will let you in on one part of Friendster and many other similar sites that is NOT so cool… Blogging. A term that shouldn’t even exist. I have no need to pretend that others might find my daily activities, thoughts, or what music I’m currently listening to, amusing and insightful. I have no need to unabashedly – no, BRAZENLY – hang my dirty laundry out in the hopes that all (internet users) will see it and study its every wine-stain and bleach spot.