When Relationships Turn Economic

April 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm Leave a comment


So economists are trying to paint a rosy picture, eh? I don’t have access to their data, so let me take a stab at a not-so scientific observation.

If food stamps, social security, and medicare went away tomorrow, what would happen in America? If the supply of oil was disrupted, how would people still earn enough money to pay for the huge spike in prices? How are people expected to pay their mortgages while being told to drive less, buy less, not consume, yet keep their job? If we can’t continue as we were, then who gets what, and why?

And will porn always be free forever, even if the economy completely collapses?

I believe we have entered the era of Friendonomics. This is the time when the snake really begins to chomp on its own tail, and relationships turn economic as people’s personal social networks bloom. And whether the friendonomics relationship is either hiring a friend or being hired by a friend, it’s important to see it from both sides of the equation.

For instance, let’s say you have a friend, and you like them because of (fill in the blank). But right now, you need some dough to pay for stuff, and you offer to help that friend for money.

That is when that friend owns you.

If you make an agreement and take payment for performing some sort of work, your friend either becomes your customer or your boss. Kind of like marriage. But when you charge your friend money for doing a job, you lose something that was there when there was no economic relationship.

“Hey buddy, you know I love you, but I was really hoping you could have had it done by now, done it for way less than market rates, and change some stuff too.”

Hiring friends can come naturally as a friend’s work becomes valued with cash or credit. When I have hired friends, I have found myself to be a driven idealist, looking to achieve maximum impact. Whether the job is highly technical or a simple chore, I want it done right. And if you become a boss to your friends, your demands could be viewed by them as a relationship changer. Because if you are in control, then they feel like subordinate rather than a friend, and the level of social understanding between you changes.

When one of your friends “Knows someone” who can do what you need, it is a gray area of friendonomics. I’m open to interpretation there.

As the economy continues to morph into something different than what it has been before, many people are going to experience all sorts of relationship changes as debts and social media fuel massive friendonomics. We live in a time when on your computer or mobile device you are actively monitoring the lives of people as they live and post stuff online. Even if it’s something trivial like your top 5 favorite albums or your tweet about whatever, we want people to know what’s going on.

And because we are so connected, many new people are available. Your old friends never really go away – they may just be choosing to unsubscribe you from their lives.

And this is why I hate our current system of capitalism. Because if you are doing things for money, you are a slave. And we are all slaves, trying to keep up with all the stuff we bought. Some work less by managing to get others to work for them. As money is no longer available to people, there are bound to be major social upheavals.

This is why before further mayhem ensues, I am training volunteer trainers to help people learn how to use technology like Bright Neighbor and Facebook to build community-based economies. My focus is to continue to work to help people deal with changing living conditions.

So if you get hired by a friend to do a job, perhaps you could work out a deal other than cash, so that your friendonomics relationship isn’t so much as boss/customer as it is friendship/barter.

Entry filed under: Bright Neighbor, Community Building, Gardening, Lawn Farming, Trends. Tags: .

Lessons In Social Media Etiquette & Graces A Response to “Pathways to Community Collapse: Can We Intervene?”

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