On Friendstership

I know what you’re thinking … Friendster jumped the shark MONTHS AGO. It’s true. But Esquire is 6 months behind the rest of us, so for the January ’04 issue they’ve asked cranky pop-culture aficionado Chuck Klosterman to write about it anyway.

Some choice observations:


  • Here is the experience most people have with Friendster: For a few weeks, they hear their colleagues discussing something that seems to make no sense. They hear sardonic buzzwords bandied about in the bathroom and around the Xerox machine. They start getting e-mails that seem like spam, except the messages mention acquaintances by name. And then people start incessantly asking them if they are on Friendster. “I’m not retarded,” they inevitably respond. “Why would I waste my time with that shit?” They vow never to join. Everyone does this (at least for a while).
  • Weirdly, there are some elements of the Friendster personal profile that no one seems to lie about, most notably what TV shows they like. Friendsters seem totally comfortable with strangers assuming they cheat on their wives and sketch portraits of unicorns in their free time, but they don’t want anyone to think they watch According to Jim unironically. This is similar to how a person will have oral sex with you on your very first date but won’t let you look inside her glove compartment at the moment because it contains a Tori Amos cassette.
  • Every time I’ve ever needed to get on Friendster, the entire site was down. I could not log on. Like many people, Friendster has no problem telling you how amazing and sexy and clever you are when you really don’t care, but it might be arbitrarily unresponsive at the singular moment when you desperately need a connection.

  • Go leave the author a testimonial. He has 92 friends.

    Did anyone read Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs? I wanna play Monkees = Monkees with someone. It kept me entertained during the blackout when there was nothing to do except smoke pot. I’m too lazy to explain the game right now.