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    Wednesday, 9 July 2008

    Facebook "Friend" Sluts defines "Popularity" as "The quality or state of being popular, especially the state of being widely admired, accepted, or sought after."

    In times gone by, the poor folk who came before us probably found it difficult to judge how popular they truly were. They would have had to rely on old fashioned things such as seeing how many people actually came to their birthday party/night out, etc, or how often they received invitations to such social events from others.

    Thank god those "Dark Ages" are behind us. Now we don't need to wonder about such things as the marvels of modern technology have given us the means to truly, empirically determine how widely admired we are: enter the Facebook Friends List.

    When I was younger, even as little as ten years ago, I judged how many friends I had by the number of people I regularly associated with and how much I felt we mutually enjoyed each other's company. Now, the Facebook phenomenon has shown me how truly paltry my understanding of the terms "friendship" and "popularity" was.

    Apparently, in this wondrous new age of ours, somebody can be your Facebook friend if they've met you once at a party or a nightclub for two minutes. Once this person has "befriended" you, they don't ever need to communicate with you in any way, shape or form - it's enough to know that the two of you are "friends".

    Here I was thinking that you actually needed to get to know someone AND that you needed to want to know more about them, or at least wanted to spend more time in their immediate company to be their friend! How sadly wrong I was.

    Facebook has told me that I am not as popular as my sister. In fact, I'm less than 1/3 as popular as she is (I must say this is actually the truth, she is annoyingly well-loved). Yet one of our mutual friends has over 1200 Facebook "friends" - easily double my sister's number.

    My self image has been shattered. My thought that perhaps I was a reasonably popular person was clearly a delusion. I have become the mad cow I once feared eating. People must have been LOL'ing at me for so long now; LOL'ing at the unpopular loser.

    I have to somehow regain my popularity and thereby, my self-esteem. What's a mad cow to do? Well, as someone much smarter than myself once said, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." In the past, I had thought only to befriend people on Facebook that I felt truly close to but I can see now how silly that was of me.

    I have to adapt to meet the needs of this popularity yardstick. From this point forward, I vow to become a Facebook Friend Slut. If I've spoken to you for long enough to know your name, consider me your friend. If I worked with you 12 years ago for a week when I did work experience, I shall poke you. If you are a foreign exchange student who went to my school in kindergarten for three days, we will rekindle our friendship. Finally, to those of you who I've heard about in passing from friends and family, I offer you my e-love.

    The only downside of all this is that I'll probably be too busy tracking down and befriending people to see my friends in real life. Ah well, it's a small price to pay for popularity.

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