Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A known devil...

I have a lot of blogger friends - people whom I know only through their writings and e-mail exchanges. I have never seen these people but I feel comfortable enough with their personalities as expressed through their blogs. But when it comes to Orkut virtual friendships, I become a tad cynical.

I keep getting friend requests from random people on Orkut asking me to be their best friend. They know nothing about me since I've not divulged much on my profile. I don't know anything about them aside from what they write on their profiles. So how do I "decide" to be best friends with them? Isn't that something that evolves over time? Besides, knowing what movies, books, food XYZ likes really doesn't make you understand them. A thousand people can have the exact same similar likes.

I did add a couple of strangers thinking that maybe I could overcome this "bias" of mine. I could rarely ever get past "hi, how are you?" with these people.And a couple decided to take it up a notch by asking obnoxious personal questions (Girls' "single" status especially seems to be of paramount importance to even strangers..:)). So I just chucked these right out of my friends list. How much can you really divulge to some stranger on chat? And it really becomes boring when, all the time, your conversations go something like,

"Hey, how're you?"
"I am fine. How are you?"

Now, I know a lot of people who are very comfortable chatting up strangers on Orkut and even getting to know them well later. I guess I am not one of those.

I recently got an earful from an irate Orkut-ian. He had sent a rather nice intro message and friend request. So I thought I  should have the courtesy of responding to him. I asked him, "Do you really believe in virtual friendships? Is this really possible?" Honest to god, I meant it in a really good way just curious to find out what he was thinking when he asked me to be his "best friend". And he responded to it by detailing what a gentleman he is in his dealings with women, how he'd treat me honourably and never step over the line, how I was being callous in my comment etc etc...

Anyways, so I've switched back to doing what I always did before: ignore unknown friend requests...:) One of my friends complained rather loudly that I might be missing out on really wonderful people because of narrow vision. But I desist. Why? Because a known devil is better than an unknown angel...:)

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Anonymous said...

I find it hard to say "He is my best friend" in real life , let alone say that to a virtual stranger !

I think saying.."someone is my best friend" is totally a girl thing. I have never heard any guy actually say...."Machi..Dinesh is my best friend" (that might have something to do with the name ) but I digress.

I am not trying to start a gal-guy thing here , but I agree on the post. Making new friends in real life is hard , let alone new virtual friends.

But I still cant forget what some kids in India used to say that cracks me up till today.

Teacher asks : Karthik..Get up ..who is your best friend ?

Karthik : Mam..My Mother is my best friend.

Finally , a known ass as a friend is better.You at least know what to expect , my friends should know !

dinesh said...

@ subha - popular a irundhaale ippdi dhaan. Pala thollaigal. Everybody wants to be your best friend..avaa avaa kashtam avaa avaalukku ! :)

@sayee - Onakkennada kavalai. Aayirethi ettu high profile best friends. Naangellam arpa pathargal ! Ippdi orkut layum, g-talk layum thedikkanum.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm interesting article... I was really laughing when i was reading this article.. How in the world can some X person who hasnt met person y say " you are my best friend" That really is so stupid... May be the guy X here is really interested in starting a conversation but really lacks the skills in approaching the right way....anyway i feel sorry for that X person

Prabu Karthik said...

ahem! orkut post ++;

vazhakkama orkut ke link kudupiye? :D

maha janangale,
i've never met subha. i only know her thru the odd mail exchanged once in a blue moon. i am what she calls a blogger friend.

But apdi irundhum she has been very prompt in responding to scraps in ORKUT. so subha solradhu ellam unmai unmai unmai

here u go with yr well deserved brownie points :)

(idhunaale unnoda orkut fans neraya per blog eluda arambicha adhuku naan porupu illai :D)

Probably as sayee says, i think this good, better, best, bestest ellam is more a girl thing i guess. Only 2 days back a female colleague and friend introduced her pal as her 'best friend'. Pona maasam vera yaarayo ipdi introduce panninadha nyabagam.

Naan laam en friend a per solli koopdiven, rombo naal pazhakkam, family levela theriyum na 'dei vennai' nu chellama koopidven avlo daan...

Having said that, it all depends on that individual's personality in virtual world vis a avis real world. Adhuvum oru factor... It took me some while to learn to say 'Hi' to even office colleagues who do not know me well... Of course i'm totally comfortable with friends who know me for sometime.

But still, I always give a first impression as a kind of a very reserved person in real life. Even Ferrari once asked me ‘rombo amaidiya irukeenga’ when I met him in person for the first time.

On the other hand, I write whatever without any inhibitions in blogs and mails which are read by people who dont know me at all.

To each his own comfort level i guess.

Anonymous said...

one thing i wud like to say! it is possible to atleast be good enough friends if not best friends with a person whom u havent met! all it takes is some patience and a couple of decent conversations to break the ice...coz even with best friends some times our conversations mite b restricted to hi, hello, doing good, bbye...

kuttichuvaru said...

I hav noticed this in many scrapbooks in orkut..... n the general opinion I hav is tat predominantly gals r the ones who get such anonymous scraps n friend requests.... agreed sometimes happens to guys too.... but tat is negligible wen compared to tat of gals' profiles!! I wonder why..... is it a guy thing to randomly get to unknown gals profiles n take a chance if they may start talkin to them?? it is over me!!

Adiya said...

mm ya very practical statements. people are quite curious to get know virtual friends and most of the times the boundary is not defined made to you post this. very nicely told.

well honestly i got ur blog Url through orkut only he he .. yes i was searching for srirangam friends and got ur link thats it.. so to be practical its all how both the people taking and going forward.

all.. just skip the spammers thats it.

Muthukumar Puranam said...

I normally beleive ppl who tell they are best frnd and I will do anything for them. It is unfair to hurt them. Enna solra?

Anonymous said...

ungala kooda frienda add pannuvangala? jus kiddin... Ur one of thos kinda ppl who write their names in someones friendslist at the first instance. What I do is I ask them anyway I knew them and only if I like the response I would add them (that doesnt mean that am popular as u r). Liked the angel devil ending.. From The Last Samurai: 'Tell me how he died' 'I'll tell you How he lived'... Have fun, make new but better frenz and dont forget the ol pals....

Anonymous said...

Nice commentery-post ! Most of people add as friends or scrap nonsense to increase their friend/scrap count so that they can luk cool amongst other ppl. yeah, you can say "holy cow !" after readin this. I bet all those be-my-friend requests are from people in India ... or am I wrong ?

Anon - I.

Anonymous said...

dear d:)

your blog start with devil…. Surprised me and lelt me squirming in my seat for quite sometime.mistook that ur aggression was aimed at insipid follower/ commentator of ur blog like me, as I tried to occupy more space in ur blog lastweek. Then reread the blog,got the assurance that ur attack is not aimed at poor souls like us….seeking divinly(read RANGA) intervention to save the poor souls again.period.

on ur topic,let me try to reason with on what is a friend & friendship?

I have to admit here that I have very few friends both in real and virtual world.hence bear with my analysis.

1.Is it possible to have permanent friends continued right thro’ones life,unless he/she sticks to a particular place or makes it a point to visit regularly to be in touch with the reality. Here again, we come across all old friends forgotten/discarded ,new friends made depending on the circumstance and situations.Answer may be friends are difficult to come by and retentivity doubtful.

2.or the friendship evolves over the years of contact both physical and mental level,after being put thro the scorching fire of Time,maturity etc, (koperuncholan and pisiranthaiyar, awaiyar/adhiyaman,rajaji and periyar,anna and karunanidhi etc.or neighbourhood unknowns) =may be counted as few and far-apart.

3.or friends are stop gap arrangements to fill the void between childhood and manhood as most friendship occur during this period (the saga of Beatles) and breakup later once they find their moorings.that is reality check and natural.

4.Those who respect other’s space,oddities etc may survive a lasting friendship and reap the rewards.

Ooph what a boring analysis?

To cut the story short and coming to ur predicament on virtual friendship, my take will be to give it one more shot t (if the poor soul is in dire need and not knowing how to get along) &.if not to ur liking drop /erase him permanently.easy is itn’t?.....sundar

Anonymous said...

another female with the 'hi.. can i be ur friend ?' problem on orkut.. can get irritating at times.. coming to virtual friendships, it can happen with ppl even falling in love(really!) but it is a grt place to make friends from other places in the world! dont become 'best friends' but try to make new friends.. :) always helps to have friends around.. i'm sure you agree..

Kishan said...

Virtual friendship is near to impossible. Really surprises me how ppl can request an unknown person to be their "best" friend..

However, I am a big fan of orkut myself not because I want to get in touch with my friends but I can know a little more about some people whom I admired but never dared to approach. (only by their profile but No scrapping business)

Venky said...

Honestly, with due respect, I fail to see the point...I mean you already said that you don't divulge much information, so what do you have to lose? Just add them and you will make some random person(loser??) feel better about himself/ herself.

So what of the conversation does not go beyond a " are you"....its not your job to make the relationship work..its the person who wanted to become your "best friend"'s job.

Virtual relationships work if one of the 2 is extremely good at small talk. Its a lot similar to meeting some stranger in an elevator and then getting to know them really well. Its possible, but again one of the two needs to be charming, interesting and should be able to talk on a wide variety of subjects. The key is to be able to capture and hold the attention of the other person for a long enough time that the other person becomes interested in knowing more about you.

Some of my acquaintances have become my best friends just through chatting online..So I don't make rules about these things, I go with the flow. Sure you might meet a million unknown devils before meeting the unknown angel, but if you have nothing to lose, it might be worth it. Besides meeting a few devils might make you appreciate the angels you already know like (insert my name here??) more!!

Subha said...


Yeah, I guess its a girl thing to quantify things as "best", "better", "worst"..but surprisingly, online, lotsa guys also seem to use it. Perhaps, the anonymity of a virtual world emboldens them to use terms that would otherwise be ostracized as "un-guyish"..? :)Who knows..

Unnoda popularity-ai vidava..anikki kooda unakku rendu peru Lex la hi solla sonaanga...

:) I guess so..

Subha said...

Nandri for the show of support..:)

I guess its each person's opinion.

nice point..:)

that makes sense..:)

Subha said...

romba correct..neenga correct-a follow pannuveenga nu enakku theriyum..:)

aayooo, me not the popular..idhu niraiya perukku nadakkara vishayam nu ninaichu dhaan post ezhudhinen..:)

Not to generalize, but're right..:)

I didn't aim my post at in peace..:)

Defly agree with the friends part..

I am a big fan of orkut too! Its fun..

Subha said...

I fail to see the point of having a bunch of people on my friends' list without even knowing them. I guess you and I are different.

A girl's problem is kinda different from a guy's, if you will. I am sure you understand..:)

Anonymous said...

ignore..ignore... ignore orkutla varum makkala..

idhula comedy ennana...they will sign in as best friend.. but then they will leave a scrap r u? where r u from??

eevu irakam illaama.i have asked " do i know you" ..70% makkal will stay away after this question..30% will still ANSWER this question

Anonymous said...

@ pb

apdiyaa??? oho.. sooooooooper !!!

Anonymous said...

d D:)

thanks again for saving a sinking soul.ur pat came coincidentally on Bharathi's birthday.feeling great.

on a lighter note,i 'm willing to go with venky's musing like:
read his piece tuned to the rhymn and rhythm of 'sappoose ...pattai vayalum,Lennon n Imagine i manithilum padikondu ,Marocharitira pada Lift scene i background il oda vitu parthal puriyum enru niaikiren...
by the way what is the secret of ur one liner?
tharrpozhuthu gazettil pathivu seytha pyear ..A+++(Allahu Akbar Allaha vin adimai..a small contribution for getting ever lasting peace in Kashmir

Anonymous said...

Subha, u too are hav this praablam. me alsoo having that ejact praablam. i find we is similar intrested. pleasssse make fraanship widd me. pls. :)) i am gaal wonly, u dont not to worri yenything yaar... :-P

Gayatri Patwardhan said...

"hey can i have ur frndship??"
well, on a serious note,concept of frndship is very relative. n especialy in t term "best frnd"..both words are relative.
personally, i dnt feel comfortable wit "virtual frnds". this is may be because of my reserved nature.

Sriram C S said...

Subha, One more blog open. This is going to be a very active serious blog (over compensating for the hiatus) :P See Pass this link to all your friends! :)