Tuesday, September 28, 2004

3 Degrees

There's a guy sitting not less than 10 feet away from me. We've met, in a manner of speaking. At some point I knew (but abruptly forgot) his name, age, "status", occupation, favorite music, favorite books, favorite movies, and whatever it was he had to say about himself and the people he wants to associate with. He must be within 3 degrees of me, but I don't know how. We've made that distracted coffeeshop eye contact a couple of times, and there's a glimmer of recognition, which means he's met me, too. The Friendster phenomenon is alive and well in Minneapolis.

I must not have found this person too terribly interesting, because I can't find him easily online. The more seductive Friendster profiles are the ones that are: updated fairly frequently, but not obsessively; funny, but not desperately or obviously so; hint at intelligence without flaunting it; and have pictures. Those are the ones you revisit, maybe keep a hidden bookmark on, consider braving a message that may or may not be replied to, depending on how impressive your own self-advertisement is.

I've never started a conversation with, "So I saw you on Friendster..." It certainly hasn't made me any new friends. It's people watching in the comfort of your own (let's face it) office or cubicle, without the knowledge that people are watching you back. I see people everywhere who I know, but don't know. Running into these non-friends mimics the feeling of seeing an acquaintance and realizing you've forgotten their name. I spend awkward seconds, minutes or hours hoping that the "don't-I-know-you?" looks don't lead to them figuring out who I am before I figure out who they are. Or, worse yet, I'm the one they don't recognize, and the irrational indignation and subsequent rationalization set in. How could he have forgotten me? He's TOTALLY ignoring me on purpose.

It seems to get worse in the winter. It's a small town. There aren't so many places to be out of your house and inside at the same time, particularly if you're between the ages of 21 and 32. All the Friendsters, crammed into the 7th Street Entry or the CC Club or the Triple Rock within inches of each other, pretending they've never seen each other before, when in fact they STUDY each other. And I sit at coffee, distracted by someone I don't know - but could, if the correct friend of a friend was also in the room...

I think his name might be Brandon...Brad?...Brian??? Dammit...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Everyone, Which Ewan are you?
Now you try it!!!