12 September 2011

Social Currency

From a Grantland response to Facebook stalking in college:
From what very little I've been able to ascertain about business school — like a cult, you can only "get it" after it's already gotten you — it seems like an eccentric and expensive world where homework is called "case studies" and must be completed in groups, with every group consisting at least 85 percent of Type A personalities; talking to someone is called "networking" and immediately enters both parties into a binding lifetime agreement that they will "reach out" for endless referrals and small favors until their dying days; and people are now being awarded scholarships for tweeting haikus.
The point being: I can't pretend to know how Facebook works in such an apocalyptic environment as b-school. We've got the full range of crazy: I've seen people who join the CLASS OF 2013 Facebook groups the second they're established and friend every last classmate before even arriving on campus. These people love "networking." But I could also imagine a Tracy Flick type hoarding friend requests, accepting them only strategically, and then writing papers about the practice that include the phrases "social currency" and "as Groucho Marx said …" These people are the ones who will ruin your silly case studies, and someday, your life.

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