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Do you use MySpace, Friendster, Yahoo 360, or other social networking sites? If so, have you been able to make real friends on them? I had never tried, so with the urging of a few friends I signed up for MySpace as an experiment, simply using Anita as my screen name.

I was anxious to see how many ‘friends’ I could make. To get rolling quickly, I updated the default profile with my name, location, and literally the first picture in this computer’s ‘My Documents’ folder:
kid in toilet
(OK, so maybe you can already guess the outcome of my little experiment based on my choice of pictures, but since I didn’t know a thing about these sites I wasn’t about to use my real picture yet)

Initially, I decided it would be best to act particularly friendly by accepting any and all friend requests. Within hours, I received my first friend invitation. Wow, that was quick! After accepting, I also received my first comment ‘Hey, why don’t you post some real pictures … I bet you’re hot’.

Apparently guaging each other’s “hotness” is a major purpose of the site, or at least the outcome when you use a picture of a toilet in your profile. Within 2 weeks, I had a colorful array of over 90 friends with names such as Boob, BooB (who didn’t appear related to the first friend), I love Superman, and Toilet. I also became friends with a bunch of bands I had never heard of, some of which had over 10,000 friends … pretty popular bands I guess!

After my circle of friends grew to such proportions, I thought I might as well be social and chat with them. When I left messages for the ladies, they didn’t really say much back. I guess Boob and I weren’t such good friends after all! When I said hi to the guys, they were far more friendly … but more in the “Hey, send me some dirty pictures and then let’s meet” sense than the “what’s happening, tell me a little about yourself” type of introduction that I was expecting.

My experiment ended almost as soon as it started. After a couple weeks, I decided to start introducing myself to other people. Over a couple days, I invited about 50 over-18 folks to be my friend – all of whom appeared to be a little more reserved than my original bunch. 20 or 30 accepted too, but the next day I receive a message from MySpace saying that my account has been deleted because I was spamming their users.

Good thing too … I would have been the MySpace equivalent to playing Parcheesi with your grandparents – who needs such boredom when our kids have fun friends like Boob, BooB, and Toilet to chat with.

friendster patent
(thanks to Chris Pirillo and Brad Fitzpatrick for the comic … BTW – Friendster actually DID recently patent the process of making friends online, look out MySpace!)

8 Responses to “Can you make real friends online?”

  1. on 30 Oct 2006 at 12:56 am mike

    It has always baffled me why anyone over the age of 18 would want a myspace account. I’m getting old I guess.

  2. on 30 Oct 2006 at 4:07 am Keith L. Dick

    Hey!, that little kid looks just like me after my first Beer!… hehehe

  3. on 30 Oct 2006 at 5:58 am Blaze

    Haha… too funny. It’s so true. No one really makes friends on those things. It’s all about posing etc.

    Scary to think they would delete your account for just trying to make friends! In my opinion that’s just bullying. ;p

  4. on 30 Oct 2006 at 6:28 pm Diesel

    As long as no one has patented the process of systematically alienating potential friends, I’m safe.

  5. on 30 Oct 2006 at 10:24 pm CD

    Yeap, I don’t like those websites either. I guess I am getting old too! Although this guy at work has a myspace account and he is like 44. Anyways, I agree with Blaze that those sites are all about posing and pic trading.

  6. on 20 Aug 2007 at 3:03 am G.T.

    Good post :-)

    I take no pleasure in having an account but I do try to respond in kind to people who post comments to my blog, many of whom do use MySpace. I decided early on to make it clear that my account was purely for commenting on other peoples blogs on MySpace and just to ignore friend requests from people I didn’t know–aware most were just trying to fill up their friend lists in the sake of “popularity”. Being “friended” on MySpace is much like being “friended” in a relationship I discovered; once added the new friend seemed to lose all interest in communicating again. I had wondered if I had started to smell . . .

  7. on 25 Feb 2010 at 9:57 am timmy

    I HATE YOU u are old

  8. on 25 Feb 2010 at 9:59 am dumb crap

    I HATE YOU CAUSE YOUR OLD

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