By: Roz Warren and Liz Lowe
After attending a motivational workshop for entrepreneurs called “Overlooked Opportunities in Social Media: Using Your Friends for Fun and Profit” I have taken a long hard look at how I have failed to exploit my friendships. The result? I have decided to monetize my relationships by encouraging my Facebook friends to pay me directly via Paypal. If I don’t receive your generous donation by midnight tonight, I will confiscate your icons and “unlike” your updates. But if I do receive an appropriate payment? You‘ll receive a lovely “Facebook Friend Certificate of Authenticity” adorned with faux gold flecks to proudly display in your home. And your Certificate can serve as an informal face-to-face Facebook Friend Evaluation Tool -- as your guests admire it, your casual conversation can turn toward more rigorous questioning such as:
l) Do you agree that the more Facebook friends you have, the worthier you are as a human being?
2) A day spent on Farmville herding pretend sheep around a pretend field is a day well spent. True or False?
3) Do you spend most of your time on Facebook, or all of your time on Facebook?
4) If you sign an online petition, there is no need to take actual political action or donate money to a worthy cause. True or false?
5) When you are “unfriended” by a FB friend, the appropriate response is:
D) Setting loose your most unruly pretend crop-crunching cows in their pretend field?
6) Your knee-jerk response to an online survey is just as important as carefully thinking through any issue. True or False?
7) Isn’t it true that the ability to view cute baby animals 24/7 is the activity toward which all of civilization has been progressing?
8) What do you do if a Facebook Friend fails to wish you a happy birthday?
B) Submit an “abuse of terms“ report.
C) Post the following as your status: “I am cleaning out my FB Friends list. If you wish to remain my friend, please upload a photo of the hand-made card you laboriously crafted to celebrate my birthday -- which is today!”
D Realize that if you care deeply about this, it’s time to turn off your computer and get a life.
9) Your favorite FB links to YouTube are:
A) Music groups from the past that no one listens to anymore.
B) Music groups from the present that no one listens to now.
C) Anonymous dogs and cats behaving badly.
D) A lecture on the dialectics of Farmville.
10) My idea to “monetize” Facebook by charging my FB friends to continue their online relationship with me makes me a brilliant genius in the true pioneering spirit of American innovators like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs and not a slothful mooch who intends to get paid for camping out in front of her computer, gobbling tasty snacks and “liking” things that don’t exist while the real world goes to hell around her. True or False? (Be very careful how you answer this one!)
Evaluating their responses to these questions is an excellent way for the true Facebook aficionado to rule out those pesky “real” friends.
Meanwhile, may I ask a personal favor of you, my very closest 11,837 “Friends?“ If you like this essay, please share it! If you don’t “like” it, you’d just better guard your pretend field of crops! Because my pretend crop-crunching cows are on their way over there right now, and they’re feeling very hungry.
(This essay first appeared on www.theyellowham.com)
Roz Warren writes for the New York Times, the Funny Times, the Huffington Post, the Jewish Forward and the Christian Science Monitor, among others, and has been featured on the “Today Show.” Twice! She’s the editor of 20 humor books, including “Men Are From Detroit: Women Are From Paris” and “Women‘s Glib.” Roz loves to work with her fellow writers one-on-one as a writing coach. Read more of her work at www.rosalindwarren.com, connect with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/writerrozwarren and follow her on Twitter at @WriterRozWarren.