Until Facebook came along, nobody used the word "friend" as a verb. Now it's not uncommon to ask a new acquaintance to spell their name so you can friend them on Facebook. Everyone likes to feel popular. That's why some Facebookers, especially in the site's early days, hoarded friends like poker chips (never mind that most of these "friends" were rarely seen co-workers, distant relatives or vaguely remembered classmates from junior high). Nobody really has 583 "friends." Facebook's "friend" also was the precursor to Twitter's "follower," which makes a user's social contacts sound like members of a cult.