I normally write about things from the real world. Physical things that really exist and you can reach out and touch. But I'm putting that on hold for this post.
Recently I received an email from a friend telling me about a site I should join. I knew they were a friend, not just because I've known them for a while but also because the automatically generated email told me so. In this way, I signed up to be a member of iwiw.
Read moreI'm not sure what iwiw stands for but the site's FAQ says that it's been around in various forms since 2002. Almost makes me feel left out for only receiving an invite at the end of 2005. Oh well.
The iwiw concept is Hungarian personal networking site, just like good old Friends Reunited. You get invited by someone you know, you add people from the site to your list and invite other people who aren't registered yet. Sooner or later you'll be bumping into (albeit cyberly) all those people you used to go to school, work, the pub with. Myself, I tend to stand at the back of the room and just read peoples profiles to find out what they've been getting up to with their lives. My profile is normally up-to-date but I'm not an active-seeker.
But with these sites come a few questions of etiquette. The idea is to form your group of friends so that you have everyone you like and want to keep in touch with. But what happens when someone you didn't really get on with drops a friendly invite into your inbox? Reject it and it's a flat dismissal of their friendship but accept it and you're slowly diluting your group into meaninglessness.
Here's another question. While using the "friends of friends" feature the other day, I happened upon someone I knew, or thought I knew. Then I realised that I've never met or talked to the bloke and only know him through his blog. It'd be pretty neat to add him and say hello but it feels so stalkerish that I just can't bring myself to do it. Then again, as I know who our mutual friends are, there's the possiblility of meeting in real-life by just going out and meeting the mutuals more often.
And there lies the conclusion. These friendly sites are all well and good for finding those long lost buddies, but if we all went down the pub more often they wouldn't be long or lost in the first place.
Back to home