I put my inventor-brain to the test and came up with four fun new social network ideas. At different points in my life, I would have thrived from the use of each of them. If only they could exist, this crazy world would be a tiny bit easier to navigate.
Rig Your Romance
You know what sucks a lot? Going home for the holidays to a slew of “are you seeing anyone”s, going solo to a wedding and having all the sad drunks hit on you because they assume you’re feeling especially single and vulnerable, and people trying to set you up because they assume that if you’re alone you’ll be open to having another person, any person, to keep you company. The solution to all of these outside annoyances is to Rig Your Romance. This site would allow you to find a partner with whom to paint a very unreal picture of your life. Maybe all of his brothers just got married and he wants his mom to stop looking at him with disappointment. Maybe you have a reunion to go to and you just want to rub a goddamn investment banker in the face of that jerky ex-boyfriend of yours. You can help each other, and you can find each other here. Take some pics together to upload to Facebook, go in tandem to the events that you’ve agreed upon, and enjoy your single life without having to stomach the (very loud) “insights” of people (usually older) who don’t get why you’re happy to be alone!
Split The Pie
I had the luck and the frustration of living alone my senior year at Pitt. It was pretty awesome overall, but most living situations are a mixed bag in one way or another. For me, one thing that made me wish for roommates was the craving for pizza. Don’t get me wrong, I ordered pizza a lot, but with no one there to balance me out I often thought, “I can do this” and then ate so much pizza that I didn’t feel like a human being for about 24 hours afterwards. It kind of takes the fun out of delivery when it leaves your body totally decimated. If only I’d had a roommate, I could have shared the pizza and only consumed enough to leave me happy full, not full of regrets. Thus “Split The Pie: The Pizza Party App.” On this network you’ll be able to locate others near you who would like to go halfsies on a pizza. Their profiles will contain info like their favorite TV shows to discuss over dinner, their favorite toppings and libations, and if they like to be the eater who pays on their credit card or the eater who reimburses the other with cash. To prevent you from getting psycho-murdered, each pizza partyer will have ratings by past pizza partners, so you’ll have an idea of what kind of experience is in store for you. This network will get you your half-a-pizza and help you make friends along the way.
Sure, pizza-sharing friends are all well and good, but what if you need more? Like a Taylor Swift level of more? The girl squad has grown in popularity recently, but the concept is anything but new. This network would function a little bit like a dating site, including many personality quizzes and an inventory of your favorite things to match you with compatible friends. But the real pièce de résistance would be the many filtering options. Do you aspire live out Sex And The City? We’ll have a quiz to find out which of the original four best fits your personality, let’s pretend it’s Carrie, and then we’ll locate your most compatible Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha in the area! Try a brunch on for size, see how the dynamics play out! Or are you looking to run squad-deep, Spice Girls style? We’ll help you get your girl group together! Looking for the Amy and Tina to your Maya? We’ll be the app for that! This network is especially good for gals (or gender fluid individuals or anyone who would like to be in one of these girl squads!) who are moving to a new area. It’ll help them make a solid group of friends with ease! Hopefully. We’ve just gotta perfect the algorithm and we’ll be golden!
This idea is fluid and also probably my best one yet. It doesn’t have to be constructed in the style of Facebook, it could also be Petstagram! Most of us already follow some adorable puppies or super-furry cats on Instagram (I’m not here to judge your preferences). I’ve also been invited to several Facebook groups dedicated solely to cute animal pictures and videos. Petbook/Petstagram would take this a step further, mandating that your profile can only include posts and photos that feature your animal friends. Besides the prolonged dopamine rush that would come from logging on to such a site, the guidelines would prohibit so much of the behavior that can make Facebook unbearable. Does your dalmatian have a political stance? I think not! And unless you’ve constructed one of those communicator collars like from UP! and gotten such information from the dog’s own mouth, you claiming they align any one way would be a great infringement. No politics. No negativity. And while you might cringe when someone writes paragraphs dedicated to their “totally amazing” significant other, complete with mushy PDA selfies, you know you won’t mind the same kind of post as long as it's about a corgi! You just won’t! Kittens all day, ere’day. It’s the key to mental health. We should trademark it.
So if anyone happens to be a computer genius and wants to help me with a startup, I will not do to you what happened to Justin Timberlake in the Facebook movie. (I haven’t actually seen it, but I’m pretty sure he gets screwed over.)