I’ve got nobody

April 13, 2010

Woe begone to the day when your online friend circle determines your life.

Last week’s episode of South Park, “You have 0 Friends,” did a good job of distilling the ethos of our online existence — at least the one we have on Facebook.

southpark12 I’ve got nobody

Parents nagging you to add them as your friend. Grandma being upset that you haven’t poked her. Neighbors confronting you for ignoring their friend request. Friends hounding you to help with their harvests in Farmville. Random people liking random things and inviting you to a chat in CafeWorld.

Real friends feeling left out because they aren’t your friends in a virtual world.

Girlfriend getting pissed because your online relationship status doesn’t reflect your commitment.

Our entire lives overpowered — consumed — by our online profiles.

Is that really the world we want to subscribe to? A world of streaming, screaming status updates, likes and comments?

Do we want to keep nexting through Chatroulette to find friends we can use to bump up our friend counter on Facebook?

Does having 0 friends on Facebook mean you’ve got nobody?

Does not being on Facebook mean you don’t exist?

Is that how we’re defining our lives … our selves? Is it all just becoming just a popularity contest?

It used to be that friends were people you spent time with … played real games with … shared some laughs over dinner … hiked with on weekends … cooked together.

Here’s a snapshot of what friends are good for these days:

Kyle: I could really use a friend right now.

Stan: Okay dude, I’m here for you.

Kyle: Okay, then get on Facebook and fertilize my crops.

Oh! The ridiculousness!

When did we go from having real conversations with real people to letting our emotions, and our existence, be so closely attached to — intertwined with — an online network?

When did our online profiles become bigger, more powerful, than the real person?

And, why did we let this happen?

Get a grip.

Everything in moderation is good.

Don’t let your online persona take over your real life.

I’ll leave you with Stan’s last words:

sp 1404 clip032 I’ve got nobody

Click on the image to watch the full episode

Randy: Hey Stan, my computer says we’re not friends anymore.

Stan: My Facebook profile went rogue, dad. Had to go into the circuitry and do battle with it. I sent all my friends somewhere else.Randy:

Okay, so we’re not friends then?

Stan: F**k off dad.

16081BD1A60533E0F1173D28DE4F0D3F I’ve got nobody

dp seal trans 16x16 I’ve got nobodyCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mansi Bhatia

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7 Responses to I’ve got nobody

  1. Ryshia KennieNo Gravatar on April 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I love that line – does having 0 friends on Facebook mean you’ve got nobody… When did virtual become the normal way to maintain friendships? But it is, yet I know people that are connected 24/7 and those who still refuse to acquire an online friend or a Facebook account. It’ll be interesting to see if they can hold out.

    • MansiNo Gravatar on April 13, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Ryshia. I am nearing 400 friends on Facebook and have been forced to categorize them into buckets (something which I probably did anyway in my head, but the online platform forces me to think of them in those terms just to keep things straight) and although it’s been a great "connecting" tool, it doesn’t replace the real-life human interactions. Facebook has certainly shrunk the world for me, but hasn’t replaced it just yet. I don’t intend to let it take over either.

  2. Lazy PineappleNo Gravatar on April 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    A very thought provoking post.
    Facebook Mania is definitely prevalent. As you said, it definitely cannot replace meeting actual friends. The ridiculous part is that some of the people who have added me as friends have no interest whatsoever in my life. They added me to have a neighbour in Farmville…

    Every so often I start deleting such people from my list and they keep sending me requests…which is weird.

    • MansiNo Gravatar on April 14, 2010 at 10:30 pm

      Thanks, V. I think it also has a lot to do with our intrinsic insecurities, that are only getting magnified given how scattered our lives have become — we manage two lives now: an online one AND a real one. People want to connect, but not interact. They want to add “friends” but not really “be” friends.
      It’s sad, really.

  3. BillNo Gravatar on April 13, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    I believe, as with most things in life, there is good & bad with being "online". It’s wonderful that we can meet so many diverse people that we may never get a chance to meet in our real life. Your point though of not letting it take over our "real" life is a good one. I try hard to balance both & lean towards spending more time with my wife when she’s here then being "online". I love people!! & look forward to meeting many more.



    • MansiNo Gravatar on April 14, 2010 at 10:31 pm

      It’s all about moderation, Bill. Striking that balance doesn’t come easy. Glad you’re managing to walk the path with your hands outstretched :-)

  4. AjayNo Gravatar on April 15, 2010 at 5:13 am

    A very thought-provoking post and a timely one. It was high time someone wrote about this Facebook mania. The South Park episode was really funny and sent a strong message. Instead of playing with friends,sharing laughs ,sharing our lives with them, we are hooked into Facebook for hours. I’ve myself been a victim but I realized this before it was late. How can we let a virtual community define our social lives?


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