Have I entirely missed the point, or is networking just pretending to be friends with people in the hope that you can exploit their ‘friendship’ to further your own objectives?
When did that become an acceptable thing to do? I didn’t vote for that one, and frankly it seems like a step backwards for our civilisation. And assuming it actually works, that people are able to exploit these manufactured friendships to further their careers, who is it that is losing out? People who aren’t ‘connected,’ who don’t excel at fakery, who don’t look and sound the same, and people who don’t agree with the Status Quo? Isn’t that unethical?
I admit that I’ve often struggled to understand the unwritten rules of friendship, which seem contrary to my common sense. I remember being quite young and being entirely perplexed by a young lady with whom I had enjoyed a brief romantic encounter, which by common consent we no longer wished to pursue. What had me flummoxed was her suggestion that we should ‘still be friends.’
Now I don’t think I’m abnormally pedantic, but I felt obliged to point out that having failed to reach the straightforward requirements of being a ‘girlfriend’ to a young man such as I was (‘girlfriend’ being a transitory position, requiring simply that: a. she participate in intimate physicality with me; and that b. she avoid the inclination to purposely and persistently annoy me), by what spurious reasoning did she feel that she might, as a consolation, be elevated into a ‘friend’ status, which clearly commands more stringent entry requirements.
I was surprised and confused when she walked away cursing me, without having fully heard out my instructive and germane Champions League / UEFA cup analogy, which would have given her some essential enlightenment on the respective values of friendship and romance. I hadn’t even got on to the away goals rule.
But I digress.
My point was that friendship is a valuable, personal thing, and to cheapen it by making fake copies of friends under a veil of nepotism is detrimental to our society, and a stain on the character of all of us.
If I wanted pretend friends, I could just do what I did as a kid, and invent some. At least then my ‘friends’ would be unlikely to put me in the awkward situation of asking me for favours which exploit our personal relationship at the expense of integrity and equality. Plus they would have super-powers.