“Internet Friendz” the Guide to Societies Lack of Internet Social Intelligence by Shawn Bolz

Posted: April 4, 2011 in comedy
Tags: , , , , , , ,

This is an article I wrote that is not yet edited for an upcoming internet digest type magazine…remember its all in fun.

SOCIAL INTERNET AWKWARDNESS

Anyone who uses the internet long enough has two main categories of relationships that come up. You have your real life friends and then you have your “Friendz” which are people who aren’t really currently in your life but somehow because of the open nature of the internet you find yourself in communication with them. They could be an old coworker, junior high buddy, fellow church member, someone you met in a chat room, someone you played a video game with, a real estate agent, or even your Mom’s best friend who doesn’t have enough to do so friendz you. I have coined this term “Friendz.” but it’s not trademarked have fun with it.

Lets look at the various FRIENDZ in all their glory and pick out how many you have currently in Facebok/Twitter/MySpace/Linkedin or whatever hub you use.

School Friendz:

We all have the people we were trying avoid ever seeing or talking to from high school but as soon as you start-up facebook, they were the first to somehow find you and try to get you to relive the awkward moments of youth. They follow you on twitter and think that you are still the same 16-year-old pimple kid that they knew, not ever thinking that maybe Pink Floyd isn’t in your life anymore and that you haven’t thought about choir rehearsal since you left it. The annoying thing about this type of Friendz is that they are stuck in the past, and to keep you there with them. Oh school friendz…you don’t know me anymore lets not pretend.

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Old People Friendz:

 Old people friendz come in a variety of ways. Sometimes they are your best friends grandpa who somehow see’s the “people you may know” button and clicks on you then you have a never-ending tirade of status messages like “Went to the doctor today, the hemorrhoids are definitely going to have to be operated on.” or your Aunt’s best friends Grandfathers ex-wife that you met at one family gathering and now she is telling you how cute a girl is on your friends list and is asking why your still not married…but she doesn’t realize how to do this privately so your whole list starts coming to the same conclusions with her. These Friendz are dangerous because they only seem to know one story about you and it happens to be embarrassing. Problem is whenever they think to post your direction its a rehash of that very story.

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Annoying Cute Pics Friendz:

Why do girls post teddy bears holding teddy bears holding teddy bears on my wall and say “Love you!” It is not valentines day and they are not my girlfriend because I would never date a girl who gave me a teddy bear holding a teddy bear holding a teddy bear. These Friendz are stuck in the “Cute pictures make everyone’s day happier” mindset and the amount of kittens, puppies, and babies will make your gag reflex spasm. The biggest problem with these girls is they have no context for most the pics, they just barrage you with a never-ending supply of internet clutter and its cyclical..meaning if you have 2 or more of these friends you are guaranteed to get the same spam email from both of them saying “Important!” and it ends up being 25 different pictures of babies who have all spit up in different ways….I could have never saw that and still been the happy man I am today.

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Religious Pic Friendz:

Everyone has an older lady on their wall that makes sure you know Jesus loves you! (with a 1980’s pic of a cross and dove). Sometimes these are the friendz that worry that they didn’t see you at the service yesterday so they send over an inspirational angel pic who is holding onto some man who is obviously devastated by the loss of something (probably his sanity from having to delete these pics) and she comments something like : “Missed you yesterday praying for you! XXXOOO” If religious pic friendz also have the annoying cute pic habit you have a level 10 problem on your hand…if they have the debater friendz problem that is coming up in this blog then you have a full on nuclear crises on your Facebook wall.

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Non Solicited Advisor Friendz:

You didn’t ever ask advice from Friendz: So you put a nice comment : “I feel great today! I can’t wait to work out!” and thirteen people begin to give you non solicited advice about your health regime and what won’t work telling you “I have noticed in your new profile picture you are getting skinnier…..Wait a minute was I fat in the last one? the internet has opened up a whole range of advisors, but my favorite are Friendz who can’t stand to let a statement go without giving input or advice that usually assumes details that just aren’t in context. Or you say something like “Wow it feels good to be single.” and they immediately psycho analyze the hidden meaning of the statement for your whole internet world to see….or they give you their top dating advice as if their married status on their page gives them a full degree from the school of Dr. Phil. Oh yeah, good friendz to have…public counselors that you didn’t solicit.

 

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Debater Friendz:

Everyone has them and no one wants them…the friends who start arguments and can turn even your favorite restaurant tweet into a rolling contentious internet brawl…they cut down your other friends comments to you and every opinion you give is met with their opposite view. You say “I like such and such movie.” and they go into why that movie isn’t worth the brain power to watch and they find fulfillment in cutting down your lack of enjoyment. Oh debaters, keep it on your own wall or always just be someones Friendz.

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Pretend they’re your BFF Friendz:

One of the worst ones to have. We all have at least one person that includes themselves so much in our internet life that people get a real world perception that this person is our BFF. Our real friendz are wondering why they have never met them, until this person also friends or follows them because they want to be included in especially our other real world friendships. Bff’s have opinions that mask themselves as personal knowing to who you are but the problem is it’s all not based on any real relationship so it feels a little stalkerish.

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Pretend they’re your girlfriend Friendz:

 The danger of having opposite sex friends that get attached to you online without you putting effort into the friendzhip, is that many of them will begin to associate themselves with you in a subtle or not so subtle way to your whole internet community. They use overly familiar and affectionate language, “Hey lover! I can’t wait to see your next blog!” or “That picture is so hot, it reminds me of that trip to Hawaii!” (referencing that they have commented on other pics not that they went to Hawaii with you). The problem with fake girlfriendz is that whenever you do start dating someone who these online girls want a DTR (define the relationship talk) as if you have ever even talked to them about your relationship in the first place.

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The religious fanatic friendz:

Everything you write, whether your moms spaghetti recipe or your favorite sunset moment becomes their personal quest to find some sort of prayer or devotional metaphor. They have to interpret greater spiritual meaning in all that you post….and even your pictures of vacation turn into a spiritual awakening to them but at the expense of whatever you wrote or whatever picture you posted being watered down because people have to see the cheesy friendz commentary linked to it…oh religious friendz use your own wall.

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Your friends Friendz:

One of the worst ways to get Friendz? Inherit them from other friends. These Friendz of friends live vicariously through your real friends relationships with you and they know just enough about you to be annoying.

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Stalker Friendz:

I don’t like to talk about these ones…they are the person who keeps a copy of every picture, looks for all the destinations you are headed and show up in real life there. They know all your friends and where they live, how many kids they have, and what their parents names are, they know your coffee habits and gym habits, and they post on your page more than even their own…they are stalker friendz and you need to press delete.

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Comment on All your posts Friendz:

Oh if the world only didn’t have these friendz. In the midst of all the comments you love to read in touching base with your internet community, there is always one who must say something about everything and the problem is their something is annoying. These friends just won’t quit and they comment more than any of your real friends which make your real friends stop commenting because they feel awkward and pushed out. The over communicators and verbal processors of the internet who can’t keep their friendzship to themselves.

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Inspirational Quote Friendz:

My personal most hated of friendzship style is those who have no normal status updates, they only answer everything you do with an inspirational quote. Even worse are the ones who make up their own quotes. You say “I think I am going to order in tonight.” and they say “Those who don’t get out of their house end up lying in a ditch of their own poverty invoking life style.” Oh yeah, this is where the “Ignore user” button is wonderful

 

 

 

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Eye only profile picture Friendz:

They don’t like how they look so they are just an ominous eye next to whatever post they chose to grace you with. It’s just plane creepy and it usually comes out of people who are afraid someone on the internet is after them or they are just an oversized insecure person.

 

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Inspirational Profile Pic Friendz:

They figure : Why post a picture of me when I can encourage the world with a 1970s painting of a lion roaring because that’s who I am anyways right?” These types of friendz don’t realize that it takes away from your friendzhip with them because it feels like lowered self-image when someone posts a pic of that eagle flying, or warrior, or woman dressed as a bride, it’s just one of the most frustrating things to see cluttering up your space…cheesy art that you didn’t subscribe too….post your pic Friendz! Combine this type of friend with the over commenter friend and your wall space is ruined. Can you imagine looking at your walls at home everyday and having someones cheesy art decorating it? Yuck.

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30 years + ago Profile Pic Friendz:

Yes they did…they posted the best pic of themselves at 24 and are now locked into that age for the rest of your life even if their birthday does say November 17, 1856 they are the perfect image of youth…..oh Friendz….stop pretending

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What I looked like as a baby Profile Pic Friendz:

Need I say more? Everyone does it once but some people don’t stop doing it…..and they need to.

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Posting on someone else’s real life family and friends comments Friendz:

Yes some friendz include themselves so much in your world that they begin to comment on your mothers page, your sisters tweets, and your best friends linkedin but how uncomfortable would it be if strangers came to your house on Christmas morning and shouted “I think that’s a great sweater you bought her!” and then ran out….yes that’s what it feels when Friendz don’t know their boundaries online.

What can we learn about friendz? The internet needs a social wake up call, and Friends, don’t start a friendship with someone without some internet social intelligence or you might just become their worst Friendz….

What are some types of friendz that I missed? Add your own to the list and feel free to repost this whole article

Shawn Bolz

Author of Nonreligious Guide to Dating and Being Single

nonreligiousguide.com

find me on Facebook!

Shawnbolz on twitter

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Comments
  1. bruce nahin says:

    If I was ever looking for a way to explain why I am not on facebook, this article sums it up…thanks Pastor

  2. Kathryn L Ellis says:

    Shawn your right about school friends. I was the loner and yet they wanted to be friends with me. I posted something about my family for my friends to pray about, my true friends answered me and prayed about the issue. Then my “School friend” a guy wanted to say Hi to me randomly about when I was talking about a serious issue, which he was basicly flirting with me. UGH! What goes around comes around, I had to say that. Ok, I am hinding all inspiritional pics and college pics. I don’t do any teddy bear pics, that is just middle school. You forgot to add the pics that are just say “I am to Sexy for …” showing too of bodily stuff. Please put it back on, thanks. LOL! I just can’t pull that off. This are photos of being overly flirty or forward. Sorry I just can’t pull it off. I have to be me.

  3. Amanda B says:

    Painfully true article!
    I propose three more categories of Freindz:

    1) Spammer Friendz – These Friendz send you invitations to apps, invitations to events (which may or may not even be in your home country), friend suggestions, Cause/fan page suggestions, etc… and nothing else. They haven’t posted an actual status update or photo as long as you’ve been Friendz with them. You only hope there is a real person at the other end of the bottomless string of FarmVille notifications–but you can’t be sure.

    2) The Friendz of Mysterious Melancholy – These Friendz almost exclusively post cryptic, alarming status updates designed to incite concern and/or sympathy, but refuse to go into any detail when asked what is wrong. Did the Friendz break up with their boy/girlfriend? Did they discover they have a terminal disease? Did their dog die? Or did they just burn their toast this morning? We may never know. Examples: “I guess that’s over…” – “I don’t even know what to say to this…” – “Well, [expletive].” – “Someday… someday things might get better.” – “*heavy sigh*” – etc.

    3) Amateur Pundit Friendz – Status updates consist almost solely of links to petitions or outraged opinion articles on political issues (usually fairly minor ones). The remainder of status updates are sarcastic and insulting comments about the Left or Right Wing. Epic comment meltdown will occur if your opposing Amateur Pundit Friendz collide on your wall.

  4. C. Sink says:

    Beautiful, just beautiful…nearly peed my pants!!! Still laughing…

  5. benjamin Dobson says:

    Thanks that was a fun read.keep it up

  6. Amy says:

    I agree with Amanda’s first 2 suggestions. I also suggest the “I dont know how to type properly” friend! I was just complaining about that this morning. If ur ging 2 TyPe lik Dis, pls ReFrain frm PstiNg on ma fb pAge!!”. Annoying….learn proper grammar!!

  7. Terrie says:

    Hi Shawn…..I’m one of your, “Comment on every thing you post” friendz… I can’t help it, I like what you have to say!

  8. krista cavanaugh says:

    okay…this is awesome! this blog was the subject of our Laugh-Break at work today (social work enviroment with a culture of honor, strength-based, patience and understanding-disclaimer:) Great laughs though!!!

    Honestly, these are some good reasons i only select people i am “in” relationship with on some level and it’s mutual (with a few exceptions)…facebook is “enjoyable” and family-friendly for nephews, neices, etc. as a result since this was my navigational destination from the beginning:)

    Here are a few of my friendz experiences that i’ve been in process with:
    1) Peek-A-Boo Friendz
    These friendz are peeking in to my life without commenting or building any real social media friendship and when i show up at church they say, “Boo!” then proceed to tell me that they are frequently visiting my profile page and share with me in-person their thoughts (meanwhile it’s past tense at that point). makes the intuitive side hummmm…agenda here or just lacking social-friends building skills? these have a silent-stalkerish feel to it.

    2) Gaston, one-sided friendz
    All about “Me” and no “We”. it’s like how Gaston treats Belle in Disney’s, “Beauty and the Beast.” the “We” is foundational in co-creating real friendships. These demanding friendz that want to be the center of attention can benefit from a reality-based uncompatibility assessment, like Gaston and Belle. Gaston did not pick up her social cues nor did he have honorable social skills for a strong relational foundation of any kind. Gaston’s view of a woman is all wrong of which we have to deal with in our part of the US still. DELETE!!!

    Grateful you are shedding light on the subject…I’ve been wondering how those that accept every friend request manages it all?!

  9. Amanda B – those are three great types! I’m going to resist over analysing all my profile photos… I thought the eye thing was enigmatic and mysterious lol!

  10. Dorean says:

    I had to jump in just to shout a “Hallelujah!” to Amanda B’s “The Friendz of Mysterious Melancholy”! This one really drives me bonkers!

    I would add the “I Will Update You On What I’m Doing Every 10 Minutes Friendz”. These are people that barrage the internet with every little thought and errand they have ALL day long. “I’m off to buy milk!” “Just dropped off the dog for his monthly grooming!” “I just sprayed my weeds!!!!!” (That last one is real, including the number of exclamation points used by this Friendz.) I don’t have a problem with people writing these kinds of things; it only gets to me when it’s a steady stream of these riveting updates.

  11. Carla says:

    Hiliarious! I loved it! Painfully true!

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