Friend Sinister


Gene Healy explains why he won't join Friendster:

I'm too old for Friendster, and I'm scared of it. It seems like all the awkwardness and hassle of real-world interaction (and then some) without any of the benefits.

We all have friends that we can't legitmately account for, and whom we assiduously strive to keep isolated from other parts of our friend networks. Meathead friends, friends with no class, friends who think Friends is funny. Or, on the flip side, friends given to hyperintellectual pretensions who think terms like "bounded rationality" are perfectly acceptable in a beer-and-wings type of setting. Friendster breaks down the delicate social barriers that we depend on.

And we all know people that we don't particularly like who are oblivious to our disdain. Friendster removes the ambiguity that keeps us from insulting them. There is no "Aquaintance-ster" intermediate category that we could use to let them down easy. We have to either accept their classify-me-as-a-friend overture, or tell them, "sorry, you didn't make the cut". It's a social horror. Why don't you people come clean and just go back to online dating?