The Candid Guide to Online Social Networking

    Facebook, myspace, twitter, flickr, bebo, friendster,, orkut, xanga,.. and the list goes on. Heck even you have been living under a rock in Kamchatka the past 40 years you’ve heard of at least one of these. And the reason they’re so popular? Well it’s quite simple actually. Sure you can read the thousands of peer reviewed scientific and psychological studies on this subject, but what it really comes down to is making the process of socializing easier. So you know those overly social people, the people who will randomly talk to you while your on line at Starbucks as if they’ve known you forever, the people who instantly become candid with you, and ask you all these personal questions, and the next thing you know you run in to them at least once a week, at the supermarket, at the movies, in the hall of just about every building, and your forced to say hello, only they don’t just say hello, they start up small talk, they keep you there, talking about how your weekends were, the bullshit flies around and the only thing you want to do is pull a Chuck Norris and drop kick their ass and run as far away as possible, but by this time of course you’ve already been “friended” by them on any of the social networking sites listed above. Taking a quick glance at their profile you notice they’ve got more “friends” then the population of a small post-soviet nation. These people are, in fact the ones who need social networking sites the least. It is the introverts, the socially awkward, those of us that need a swift kick in the ass to go out on a Friday night rather than play Counter-Strike that benefit the most from social networking sites.

    You see the main pastime on these sites isn’t editing the profile, or adding friends, or uploading photos and videos, no the reason we spend so much time on these sites is from stalking. In the olden days, stalking was a risky affair; you had to actually follow the person around, lurking around corners, hiding behind a tree, peeking from behind a newspaper. The problem with this was that it was very tiring, and the risk of getting caught, imprisoned and possibly never seeing the one you were stalking ever again was very disheartening. But with the advent of the lawless anarchy that is known as the internet we became free to stalk anyone as much as we wanted, the only limit being what they themselves decide to reveal; which if you’ve been paying attention to their uploaded photos is more than they should be. In any case, this stalking affects two things, it allows you to still be socially inept while still fantasizing about that girl in BIO 101; and it allows others to stalk you, should they randomly come across your profile and uh…take a liking to you, in this situation it is more likely that they will come and approach you since you are too scared to do it. Who knows you might even make new friends this way.

    There are some who lament the loss of close personal relationships with online social networking, but in truth how else are you supposed to remember the name of that random dude you hooked up with that drunken Saturday night. Sure, you’ll most likely never talk to them let alone see them ever again, but it’s nice for posterity’s sake, and to show the grand kid’s what a crazy, hip dude you were.

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Mini Candid #11

Mini-candids are small Candid Guides updated more frequently than the main guide. They can be video, photo, or just one or two sentences.

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