All your friends hate you

Jaron Lanier is a well-respected computer guru who’s been in the game so long that he actually began his career at Atari. He recently wrote a book entitled “You Are Not a Gadget: a Manifesto” which challenges the direction the Internet seems to be headed in with the advent of crowdsourcing and social media like Facebook. A recent issue of The Economist (which I can’t seem to link to on the web) notes that Lanier condemns the Facebook/myspace culture as “fake friendship.”

Of course, he’s right. Who hasn’t received a friend request from a complete stranger and accepted it merely to build their friend count? However, implicit in Lanier’s statements is the idea that real friendship is something true and holy. The truth is, we seldom have real, fundamental connections with the people we personally interact with. Most of our conversations are time wasting jabbering around the water cooler in some vague attempts to fire up the social connections we know we’re supposed to have. How many times have you passed by some bored, despondent couple at a diner trying to breathe life into a relationship that has long since had the life sucked out of it?

I recall talking to a “friend” of mine at a bar or several years ago. We had both released albums around the same period, and I was asking her how hers was doing. I politely feigned interest as she rattled off her news. Then, the subject came around to my album, and I could instantly see her eyes darting across the room as if looking for someone more preferable to talk to. At that moment I had an epiphany. We are monkeys. And like monkeys, we seek to climb the primate social ladder and get as close to the alpha monkey as possible. I have never been an alpha monkey (more like a zeta monkey.) As the realization set in, her features became more apelike in her words turned to monkeylike gibberish. I said, “Take your hands off me you god damn filthy ape!” She started to cry. Then I ordered another drink.

3 Responses to “All your friends hate you”

  1. John

    Damn dirty apes are everywhere!

  2. John Saleeby

    Yeah, Wil, Lady Gaga told me about that night, you really hurt her feelings. She was all set to introduce you to all of her current Management people and Record Company representatives but you blew it. I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but your name has been put onto the same Music Industry Blacklist Fred Durst and Vanilla Ice are on. And all because of that one night!
    Anyway, I gotta go – Ol’ Gaga just got back with a new bag of coke and . . . What did you say? A Strap On? What do you need that . .

    Uh oh.

  3. Wil

    Have fun you two!