The global community of gauche, shy and reticent people today announced they had been working on a special project called ‘socially awkward media’, comprising a suite of online services that will protect them from unnecessary attention, ridicule or judgement.
The new services – Facelessbook, NoSpace and Mumble – are designed to maximise anonymity while providing each participant with ego-boosting praise and encouragement. For example, across all services, instead of users being able to see how many ‘friends’ each person has every member will automatically be allocated 1,000 upbeat, supportive ‘friends’ who will either interact or back the hell off, depending on how the user is feeling.
Status updates on ‘Facelessbook’ will always be greeted with huge amounts of appreciation, even worship, by the community, but no member will be expected to actually participate in any kind of extended conversation. As with Facebook, ‘events’ will be a big feature, but the only attendance option for those invited will be ‘maybe, um who else is going? Probably.’
Said developer Mike Newbury: “These networks have all the functionality that you’d expect from rivals such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, yet create a much more reassuring environment in which the easily cowed and embarrassed can operate. People forget in the hype around social media that this is just another front for the socially awkward to get a kick in the face from the popular people. We wanted to create a place where no one will ever have to constantly refresh Twitter to see if anyone’s reacted to that really cool thing they posted, only to find that no one cares.”
Even though the new services haven’t even been released yet, there have been signs of a backlash from the socially awkward community itself. Said Paul Jones, a skinny pale teenager with zero social skills and no hope of a girlfriend, from Aberystwyth: “Oh good, another square ghetto for me and the other geeks to hang around in. How soon is it going to be before all the cool kids come in and start stealing our virtual packed lunches?”