Need some Facebook Friends?

I am a minor league social media whore. I blog, tweet regularly and have an active facebook account. I comment on other blogs, post in online forums (fora?) and participate in organized online activities like NaNoWriMo, Blog Action Day, International Shutdown day, etc. I belong to two informal online communities, formed around common interests and kindred spirits.

Really, though, I use social media as an augment to my real world social life. I have some 150+ Facebook friends, slightly more than the average but nowhere near the numbers of some of the true online socialites out there. Every one of those friends is a real life friend. They are all folks I know, would have lunch with, can call, email or talk professional questions through with.

I simply don’t accept friend requests from people I don’t know. It doesn’t matter that they’re a friend of a friend – I’m not using it to network broadly and make new friends. It’s not that I share a lot of really personal information on Facebook – but I don’t have time to wade through updates, app requests and quiz results from folks that are not friends. (And *ugh* on the stupid quizzes, can’t we demote them to a separate feed or something already?)

Anyway, I saw a news article today about a service, uSocial, that enables you to *buy* new friends on Facebook. (Because, yeah, that’s what true relationships are made of!)

Not surprisingly, Facebook itself doesn’t like it and considers it a violation of the terms of service. Conceptually, it “detracts from Facebook’s efforts to create a culture of authenticity.” You think?

I can’t imagine being so caught up in the world of online popularity that you would think that buying friends (or fans) would be a worthwhile investment. It’s a sad world out there where that type of service can be a viable business model.

5 Responses to “Need some Facebook Friends?”

  1. neurondoc Says:

    Just eeeeuww.

  2. WendyB_09 Says:

    Yuck.
    I’m sorry, but if I wouldn’t be your friend in the real world, I’m not going to buy your friendship in cyberspace.
    Jeez. How totally stupid.

    Ya know, I’ve resisted the social networking sites so far, I sometimes have enough trouble keeping up with the assorted blogs I visit regularly and the one forum I’m on. I mean, I can go for weeks and the only time the phone rings is on Sunday when my family calls me. And that’s just fine with me. (Caveat: right now I’d like potential employers to call on the resumes I sent out last week.)

  3. Carol Elaine Says:

    So not surprised. People will always do stupid things to find validation, even if it is buying a bunch of phony friends.

  4. Bill Says:

    I’ve never been on or wanted to be on Facebook until today! I have no problem fishing for friends (real or imaginary) and selling them off. My lobes are tingling.

  5. Jeri Says:

    Bill, I’m glad I know you well enough to know you’re being ironic. Otherwise I’d be shocked, shocked I tell you!

    (Psst… no, I’m not at ALL good with you raising your per-comment rate to $10. Do you think I’m made of money?)