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30 September 2011

A modest proposal: we need Enemybook

Don't be tricked into electronic friendship.

By Androulla Harris

If you’re off it, people will reasonably assume that you have contracted a disease. No, not medicine- Facebook: the free medium of self-promotion. Go to mine and you’ll see that I speak 5 languages (Russian, Gaeilge, Clackamas, Dompo and Yawdanch) and have 60,000 friends. Self-promotion it certainly is. I once spoke to another person with close to 60,000 friends; we had an interesting conversation in which he pointed to miscellaneous household objects, labelling them all in Japanese.

But Facebook also tricks us in another way. Have you ever sat and looked through a few hundred photographs of Dave’s party, wondering why you weren’t invited and brazenly insulting the “terribly dressed and really annoying” people grinning at your screen-blazed eyes? I know you have. A key reason behind Facebook’s success is its understanding of, and enhancement of, the negative side of human nature: envy, nosiness and an affinity for insults (can be good). This is all fair enough, my complaint is that Facebook is providing an outlet for this human behaviour under the guise of friendship; Dave’s party-goers aren’t your friends! Stop shimmying around a land of anonymous mates amiably poking you and embrace cruel (social-networking) human nature. It is time for Enemybook.

Keep enemies close to by staying up-to-date on their family holidays and favourite pastimes. Is Jane Eyre their new favourite book? Maybe you should write as your status that you hate it. Instead of a poke, why not gouge? Electronically vomit on people’s walls, view enemy pages adorned with pictures of “Your Worst Moment Together” – the potential of this ingenious idea is endless. So someone make it and send me the money – I just need to go and laugh at the annoying guy from the café’s new profile picture.

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