A Friend of a Friend of a …

This is getting a bit silly. I’m fine with the whole social media thing as far as it goes. I admit that I’m not a huge Facebook guy, but I blog, tweet and get LinkedIn. On the whole, I must admit I don’t like people, and as I get older I fear I’m getting more Andy Rooney-esque in my grumpiness. So it was with some glee that I read about the lack of applause that greeted a new wave of barbaric social media apps that debuted recently at South by Southwest.

The goal of these evil-doers (like Sona Banjo and Highlight) is to connect you, not with people you might actually know (the theory is that you already know and can presumably recognize them), but with people you don’t know who know people you do know. That sentence may need some work but you get my drift.

Here’s the use-case. You are at a bar or wake, and a complete stranger comes up to you and says, “Hi, I’m Kevin. You don’t know me, but I know Bob who is a contact of yours on <insert social network here>.”

So, this app presumes I will immediately bond, fall in love, and do business with Kevin for having the audacity to disturb my bar/wake experience. In an online world of goofy ideas, this one takes the proverbial biscuit. There is a word for this called spam. In the case of my extensive LinkedIn network, I barely know about two-thirds of my connections so this app could be really awkward. Conversely, I might be at an industry event where everyone is a valid connection under this mad idea.

There is one example where a similar app is doing great business.  It’s called “Grindr,” a hook-up app that helps strangers have intimate encounters with strangers.

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