I believe that we are all—human beings—waiting for the opportunity to become monsters. It is IN us.- John Roderick
The first time my friends went to an event at Mrs.Chaos' house, back when she was Ms.Chaos, I found a pair of them looking at her DVD shelf. "What are you doing?" "We are judging your new girlfriend based on her DVD collection. Next we'll move to the bookshelf."
I'm sure there are plenty of people who don't handle things this way - but I'm not one of them. Sure, first you meet some nice new person, and you start getting to know them and learning about their interests. You think, "what a lovely person. We could be chums."
At some point you decide it's time to become their internet friend. Twitter? Facebook? Google+? App.net? Whatever your poison you send the request (or not) and they accept (or not). Then, all of sudden, you have this blast of information about the last 1, 2, 3, 5+ years of their life. Now you can review their virtual bookshelf, or DVD collection, or whatever, and judge them. Really the internet has streamlined the process.