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The Guy's Horizon: The Future of the Friend

We love social networking as much as the next GUY. So here's our take on where it's been and where it's going. Enjoy!

(To our Readers: If you enjoy this article or any other post on this BLOG, we ask that you Stumble it, Digg it,and post it on any other social site. Funny, that we should say that right before this article!)

The Guy's Horizon: The Future of the Friend

In the new millennium, the term “Friend” has become loosely
defined. Sure we have our traditional friends that we’ve known since high
school or college. Most of us consider these friends to be our core group.
These are the people we might confide in or ask for help if we ever needed
something. We also have our work friends, whom we enjoy at an occasional BBQ or
Happy Hour with. And then we have our friends who we might see once a week
through various activities like tennis team, book club or the occasional adult
class.

But what about all these other friends?

If you’re not hooked into the social networking scene in some way, you’ve
probably  been locked away in a room for
the last 10 yrs. eating jello pudding and watching “I Love Lucy” reruns. Otherwise
you belong to one of the many, many sites that have infiltrated the web. Sites
like My Space, Facebook dominate, but you also have Plaxo, LinkedIn, Stumble
Upon, SecondLife, Propeller, Mixx, Reddit, etc. The list goes on and on. And
new ones are popping up weekly.

Let’s start with My Space. When The Guys heard about this,
it had already had been chugging along for a year or so. It was initially a way
for young people to communicate with other young people w/out their parents
knowing about it. But it soon morphed into a place we all could go for
friendship. Yes, THE GUYS were late to the gate, but we caught up quickly and
joined the competition. Because that’s exactly what it is. A competition for
friends!  Who has the most, who has the
hottest, who is friends with the most celebrities, rock stars and even
politicians? Sure, if you’re at the top of the food chain it’s a great way to
get your message across. Top Dog says, I’ll be performing here, or speaking
there, and all the little minions get the message including us. Somehow we feel
important BECAUSE we’re "friends” with these people. Somehow we feel part of
their world because their picture is on our page. And even better? We can make
them our top friends!! We have proof because it says right on our page: TOP
FRIENDS. Wow, this is amazing!! Of course, they have no idea who we
might be, because they’re not even on My Space. They’ve hired someone to set
the page up and collect friends. So let’s sum this up. We’re part of a
collection, like stamps or comic books. And this entire collection is friends with
someone who isn’t even there. Weird?! But brilliant!!

Now let’s examine Facebook. Facebook seems to be the new My
Space. But in essence it can never be like My Space because it has it’s own
purpose and design. Facebook was first utilized by the over thirty crowd to
help them find people they once knew from high school and college. It was all
about reconnecting with people from the past, often old flames or crushes. And
THE GUYS have enjoyed this as well. There’s no better feeling than getting a
friend request from a girl who spurned us, only to find out she's now bald,
with less teeth than kids. We know that’s mean, but don’t pretend you don’t
know what WE mean! Sure there have been a ton of sweet moments, like finding an
old friend we’ve lost touch with, or having someone we didn’t know that well
reach out to us.

But normally this is how it goes when reconnecting with an old friend:

1st Contact: Friend request with message. “HEY!
How have you been? It’s been forever? What are you up to?”

Reply: Friend accepts with message: “Wow, long time. Great
to hear from you! It’s been forever. What’s up? I’ve been, blah, blah, blah…….”

2nd Contact: “That is so great. I’ve been, blah,
blah, blah….If you’re ever in  (fill in
city) We should get together.”

Reply: “Uh….sure. Let’s keep in touch” (Now this person gets
a bit uneasy. They say to themselves, “It was fun to reconnect, but do I really
want this person as a real friend.”

3rd Contact: “Sounds good. I’ll be in touch.
Hopefully we’ll get together at some point soon.”

Reply:  There isn’t
one. Only uncomfortable silence.

This could go the other way too, where the initiator gets
uncomfortable. We just want to illustrate an interaction that is a very big
part of Facebook and social networking in general.  What we really want from our social networking sites is to keep
them just that. We call this the three F’s: Fun, flirting, and Fantasy. We’re
not really looking to add the fourth F in there: Friends. We just want to be
part of a bigger world. We want to be part of our own reality show, without
having to get embarrassed on TV. What could be better?

We could go on and on, but you get the picture. So THE GUYS are wondering
what’s in store for the future of friends and friendship?

We can imagine a virtual world where all our friends on
every social networking site will be connected. Where our friends on My Space
will be able to connect with our friends on Facebook. So if we have a problem
with a friend on Facebook, we can say one of our friends on My Space will beat
them up if they don’t stop posting those unflattering pictures of us on their
bulletin board. And by the time it ends, everyone will be friends with
everyone. And we mean everyone. No more six degrees of separation. There will
be no separation!!

So if you already are friends with everyone, what’s left to
do? What will happen?

Something akin to an online plague. Except everyone will be
wiped out. Erased. No memory, no identification, no anything. We’ll start
completely over with a clean slate.

And after that we’ll start a new social networking site. It
will be called, pick up the phone and call an old friend.

Someone who actually knows you.

THE GUYS

Please let us know what you think? We take comments, suggestions and donations! 🙂

4 Comments on The Guy's Horizon: The Future of the Friend

  1. Lori F. // July 16, 2009 at 6:49 am //

    Hey Guys, I’m afraid I have to disagree with your take on Facebook! The sample conversation you use sounds more like reconnecting on email, or even the phone, where you have a two-sided thing that you feel obliged to keep in motion but it eventually runs out of steam. With Facebook, you “friend” someone and then hang back and see their status updates, notes, and photos of their lives, and you can choose whether to comment or “Like” what you see or not. No obligation, so no discomfort!
    Plus, when I have email or phone relationships with people, we fall out of touch for months or years on end. With Facebook, I have this sense of being at least vaguely aware of what all these people are up to in the in-between times, without having to initiate an awkward two-sided discussion.
    It doesn’t replace the face-to-face and other real world contact — to me, it just adds another layer! I find out things about friends that I never would have known otherwise because I never would have thought to ask.

  2. The Guys // July 16, 2009 at 8:28 am //

    Hey Lori,
    We know that many people have different experiences with social networking, and in your case specifically, Facebook. We can only give our assessment and our experiences in reconnecting with people on these sites.
    But we’re very glad it’s working so well for you!!
    You’re right, it does add another layer of “friendship.” And we did say that we had a few moments of reconnection that were very sweet and memorable.
    Thanks for your comment. We love your opinions!
    THE GUYS

  3. Fun site! It’s funny–I never hear guys refer to having “friends.” They always seem to say things like, “A buddy of mine…” Buddies! You boys are so cute.

  4. You touch on a very interesting problem here and one that I attempted to discect on my blog (http://ameasureofthings.blogspot.com/2009/05/youve-been-facebooked.html). The conclusion – web 2.0 is a great way to keep in touch with a number of acquaintances (I’m having dinner with a friend tonight as we’re in the same town that I reconnected with via Facebook after I last saw him in 2004) but the term “friend” is misleading and is not a way to conduct your friendships.

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