What Are Friends For?

Smartphone Friend

A man walked into a Facebook “friend.” “It’s Steve, right?” he said, unsure of this particular friend’s identity without the assistance of a labeled avatar. (To be fair, the man had 87 million friends, so he could hardly be expected to know everybody intimately… or at all.) “No, I’m Tom,” the friend replied. “Well, Tom, I’m moving tomorrow,” the man said. “Can I count on you to give me a hand?” “Is this in real life or on FarmVille?” Tom asked. “In real life?” the man answered cautiously. (He was often confused by the difference.) “Then no,” Tom said, simultaneously buying chickens on his smartphone. “We’re not that sort of friends.” “What sort are we?” the man asked, crestfallen. “The imaginary sort, I think,” Tom replied. At this, he began walking away, the proud owner of some new digital poultry. “So, I can’t count on you for anything?” the man shouted at Tom’s back. “Sure you can,” Tom replied cavalierly, now matching up jelly beans on Candy Crush. “If you post any adorable kitten videos on your wall, you can always count on me to ‘Like’ them!” Disenchanted, the man angrily whipped out his own smartphone. “Consider this relationship over then!” he barked impotently, searching for Facebook’s mythical “Unfriend” option. “What’s your last name again?!”

© 2014 Tony Vicory.

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