It was disconcerting to find –soon after I became a Member of Facebook– that I had very few friends, and that others had –how many? Here’s one with 40. Here’s one with…98. My God –here’s one with 504 friends.
There was a peculiar resonance to it all; it reminded me of….something.
Then I got it. Adding Friends on Facebook was like adding up credit card debt. As one who has only one card and who in decades has never “carried a balance” I was obviously going to be out of my league….
Indeed, I would soon discover that some FB members had friends numbering into the thousands. Then I met Sara –a friend introduced us at a local poetry reading– who recruited me in a flash: next time I logged in to Facebook, there was Sara inviting me and my friendship.
Sara –it turned out– had two thousand nine hundred and seventy two friends. 2972 Close Personal Facebook Friends!
That was then; I’m too trepidatious to check what her total –“score” is probably a better word– is now.
(I should say that Sara seemed like a perfectly nice person –bright, aware, energetic.
In a word –Facebooky.)
That did it! I determined that I was NOT GOING TO BE LEFT BEHIND.
I solemnly announced to all and sundry that I intended to OUT-FRIEND everybody, since which time I set about to acquire Friends right left and center. I would indeed Out-friend them all.
First, it was people I knew. They quickly got the idea, and introduced me to their friends. Then those friends brought in their friends.
Old friends and old “friends” tracked me down. Felt me out with a “Did you go to Toledo High?” or a “Are you who I think you are?” (The answer to those two questions, by the way, were, 1. “No.” and 2. “That depends.”)
Pretty soon my own Friend Count began to shoot up: 25- 47 – 63…..
Last weekend, without so much as batting an eyelid, I saw my total reach a staggering 78.
So quick! I was impressed
Actually –it turned out that I was the only one impressed.
And since that it’s just sort of limped along…and I think I began losing my zeal to outfriend everybody….
Then I had a brilliant idea.
I would auction off some of my Facebook Friends on EBay!
I announced this last night:
Malachi : I don’t quite know how to put this, but I’ve decided to auction off some of my Facebook Friends on EBay. (It’s nothing personal…)
This drew immediate comments from M. and R:
M. “Oh do tell!”
R. “Wow! That’s pretty radical!”
Malachi : This upsets me more than it upsets you –obviously. I’m not obliged to do this, but I do plan to give 10% of the winning bid to each auctioned friend.
So –everybody wins.
Then S. (who can be very funny) writes:
“I think there was some legislation about a century and a half ago here in the US that forebade such commerce. I will look into it.”
M. immediately responds:
“Now, if you were auctioning off our services, well, then I suppose a few of us might fetch a farthing or two…
Next comes CC:
“OK, so we need some clarification…would these friends be ones that you think are worthless and are just lying around collecting dust? Or would they be ones that you think are so valuable that you’d like to cash them in for a tidy sum? And will you be notifying them of their imminent sale, or just let the new owners contact them when they’re ready to take possession?”
“CC –You raise some very useful points (could you excuse me a moment, I just need to make a quick change to my list)…where was I?….oh yes, some really excellent points…
“I never did ACTUALLY said that any FB friend was worthless….”
“…If you read closely the new Facebook Contract, you will see that there is NO obligation to let anybody know anything. It’s NONE of their business…”
“On the other hand, if I do tell them, they can enter a higher bid! That way everybody wins. And who knows, they may even end up buying their own Facebook Friendship back….
“Wow! How brilliant is that!”
S. makes the next comment:
“Is this spurred by the stimulus bill?…because if it is…you may have embarked on a brilliant cyber-emporium…”
Followed by R.:
“This all sounds highly suspicious to me. Since we are, in fact, virtual friends in the realm of Facebook, you would have nothing tangible to ship to the winning bidder except our brilliant but highly ephemeral repartee. And everyone knows that a flesh-and-blood friend in “meat space” is far more of a handful, and would resist being parcel posted to some Podunk place like Los Angeles or Paris, when they have the privilege of living right here, on Staten Island. So I need to know more about how you intend to accomplish this dastardly plan!”
I follow with an agitated riposte:
“I don’t understand it –everyone’s taking this THE WRONG WAY!
“Come on –what are friends for?”
I follow with:
“OK OK OK –not Ebay!
“I’ll do it on Craig’s List. NOW are you happy???
RM follows with:
“Please sir, can I please have more???”
M. follows with:
“Craig’s List! Are you daft, man? Have you seen the unseemly categories there? If your plan is to Crag’s list some of your FB friends, in which categories would you place us? For sale? Barter? Missed Connections? Strictly Platonic? Misc. Romance? Garage Sale? Auto Parts?”
Followed by SW (an artist):
“This could be a great way to “see the world” Can I take my website with me? Please give us some more details. Only one complaint…even galleries give a better split (than 10%) of the profits!”
I’ll let you know how it goes.
[Anyone want to be my Friend? I’m upping the % to 17.5%.]