An Australian marketing company is offering you the opportunity to buy friends on Facebook. For $177.30, you can get 1,000 new Facebook friends. For $654.30, you can get 5,000. You can also buy Twitter followers and votes on Digg.

Hey, whatever it takes.

I imagine it might be kind of embarrassing to admit that you've bought your Facebook friends. "How do you know all these people from the Czech Republic? Can you really read their status updates?"

Then again, there is also the potential for much mischief. For example, it cannot be too hard to pretend to be fluent in Czech. You can snootily post status updates in gibberish until your (real) friends get annoyed and drop you. But that's okay, you can just buy some more.

The truth is, this scenario is unlikely. uSocial's clients are mostly businesses and celebrities, and they are not pretending to buy anything more personal than a potential customer base.

But buying friends is perhaps not such a bad idea. In Ethics of Our Fathers (1:6), Joshua the son of Perachia is quoted as advising: "Make for yourself a master, acquire for yourself a friend." His words can also be translated as "buy yourself a friend."

While this advice might seem as cynical as uSocial's offerings, Joshua the son of Perachia is actually pointing out a deeper truth: A true friend is so valuable that we should do whatever it takes to get one. If candy and concert tickets don't do it, try "buying" a friend with commitment, integrity, and selflessness.

We are not supposed to live hermetically. (This is, by the way, one of the ways in which humans differ from a three-toed sloth. "The maned three-toed sloth, it will be noted, "is a solitary animal.") There is no point (for humans) in complete self-sufficiency. There is a point in actively pursuing those friends who will help us become better versions of ourselves.