What would our interactions on social media such as Facebook and Twitter look in real life with (gasp) real people? That’s the gag in this little video, which follows around a generally non-threatening guy as he asks people to like him, seeks permission to write on a store’s wall, and shares pictures from a family album.
All of this is done with folks he’s clearly never met before, which — think about it — describes an embarrassing portion of your friends list on the ‘Book (or if they’re not total strangers, they’re long-lost school buddies, passing acquaintances or co-workers you rarely speak to in person).
Actually, we got the biggest kick out the Twitter send-up. We knew what was coming as soon as the guy asked the woman, “Can I follow you?” And it was still funny, albeit in a cringe-worthy way.
What creates this double standard in our online vs. real life relationships? Why is online friend-building so much more free-wheeling and far-flung than what we can stomach face-to-face? Is is simply the buffer zone indirect contact affords? Or is it something more? Because despite many people’s ongoing issues with Facebook and privacy, we have allowed the service to strip away the anonymity we enjoyed on forums and chatrooms. Why are we OK with that?
By the by, the video is ultimately a promotion for a new opera in London. We assume the producers’ goal was a YouTube viral hit. At less than 600,000 views, though, it’s a minor hit at best. Not liked enough, it seems. How ironic.