Food for thought‘[...] do not think that good design can make a poor product good, whether the product be a machine, a building, a promotional brochure or a business man. But [...] good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential. In short, [...] good design is good business.’
Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM CEO

“Part-time friend”

July 29, 2007, 5:50 PM

Remember “Tyler, you are by far the most interesting single-serving friend I’ve ever met…” ? Here’s a hint (like you needed one – but since I’m a “visual” person, here’s the pic to set the mood :P):
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Nowadays we have the “part-time friend”.

It works great, you don’t have to do much, you need a basic internet connection and a messenger, forum, mirc, hub account or the like. What to talk about ? Doesn’t matter. By the way, have you seen the latest Harry Potter movie ? Yeah, thought of going too, just didn’t have who to go with. So, what’s up ?

It never ceases to puzzle me how easily (compared to “face-to-face encounters”) it is to talk with people you’ve never seen or seen once at most. Everybody obviously has the same need of relating, of communicating, but it seems everybody preffers to do it sitting comfy in their armchair in front of the pc/apple/phone (or maybe iPhones, ya maniacs :P – there’s no telling what people use nowadays to stay online – might as well be the fridge).

It’s interesting how detailed and spontaneous some discussions get, you begin to talk with the other person like you’ve known each other for quite some time, and when you get to really find some things you’re both interested in or have similar ideas, wow. Magic. What is really interesting however is what happens after (it’s sometimes something like “the morning after” feeling, after a one night stand). Everything returns to normal, casual hellos, how-are-yous, let’s-see-who’s-onlines. Till the next time something out of the blue happens again, I don’t know, stars aligning maybe, and you are old friends once more :). This is why it’s a “part-time” friend, since it’s not “once-on-a-plane” thing.
Sad thing is that in time you begin to get online just so you won’t feel lonely, even if you don’t talk to anyone. Knowing that you’re “connected” makes you feel good, just knowing that there is a possibility of talking with someone. It’s so easy to see why MMORPGs are so successful, everyone wants to be sorrounded by people. Even if they have pointy ears (I wonder if racial discrimination will develop in WoW :))). These days small children have blogs, as Andressa writes. It’s just a matter of time until we’ll all be plugged in 24/7.

Jacked in

Or maybe we’ll become something like Asimov’s Solaria, a planet inhabited by human colonists that resent phisical contact so mauch that their society only functions through holographic viewing of the others and, after many millennia of isolation, they have evolved into hermaphrodites, able to procreate by themselves.

But maybe beer will save us from damnation :)) If you ever need one reason to go “close and personal”, beer is the way. You can never fail with a good pint. After all, beer has been helping us make friends since the 7th century BC (wiki),

beerugly.jpg

or as it is said, “in vino veritas, in cervesio felicitas”.

Cheers!

P.S. Did I mention that beer also improves the creative process ? :D

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Comments:

This is ….. by far …. the most interesting post from the romanian blogosphere i have read this month. Scratch that… last 3 months. It’s the kind of stoner deep , funk, urban discourse that makes you nodge your head in aproval and smile while you recognize yourself in all the words as you pass them by reading.

You are one part time friend i’d like to have.

Tomorrow i’m gonna give a tribute to all my part time friends that i’ve forgotten along the way.

P.s. Read the Asimov book couple of years back. I thought it rocked.

keep on flooding us with shit like this. it sure made my day.

Cheers

Well, I’m always happy to meet people, especially making “part-time friends” since exchanging thoughts is a great sport that we sometimes forget to practice. And it’s a damn shame to see how our mind tends to get overwheight with junk.

Giving tribute to all the part-time friends is a great idea, maybe we should start spreading the word about it, try to make a “part-time friends tribute day” or something.

It would be really nice if people would try to remember why they know each other and the times they talked, since it happens a lot to suddenly talk one day for hours maybe, and the other days to just ignore each other like nothing really happend.

It’s like commuting, but for a longer time. Almost everybody sits in silence, going on the same bus with the others, usually knowing the others by face, but never saying nothing. In our particular case, we all are online on the same IM, but hardly greet each other once in a while (i’m not encouraging chatting at work, of course :P).

Just thought about it, maybe we should put at least a status that says “hello and have a nice day, part-time friends :)”

Thanks for the praises :)

i have a friend ( a “part time friend”) that from time to time ( i bet he does it when he’s feeling lonely) mass messages to everyone in his list …. “Hello!” or “Ce mai faci mah ?”

Also i’ve noticed that the most interesting conversations happen mostly late into the night when the IM list is mostly empty. The fact that the 2 person implicated in the dialog are at this late hour awake and online, creates .. i think … a thin bond that is the premisses for the change of interesting ideas..

Also … part time friends are probably the most lucrative asset when trying to get a new job, rent a place … etc .. u know … the whole i know a friend who has a friend stuff.

This is why social networks have had such a tremendous succes so far.

Conclusion … the better u take care of your part time friends the better the chances somebody will come through for you when in need of a certain thing.

P.s. i think a film like fight club comes once every ten years

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