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.