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Archive for September 19th, 2007

The Facebook Experience

I couldn’t have put it better myself… just got this notice on my Facebook Wall (if you’re not into this stuff – don’t ask!):

“Hi, I sometimes get bitten by vampires, werewolves, and zombies by some of my friends on facebook. Sometimes I am asked to take quizes. I don’t add many facebook applications because I am a simple guy who gets confused easily. However, I don’t want you to feel ignored, so I am sending some of the facebook love back. Please consider yourself to have been:
Bitten by a werewolf.
Blood Sucked by a vampire.
Eaten by a zombie.
Trampled by an elephant.
Mauled by a bear.
Anal Probed by a space alien.
Verbally Abused by a high school gym teacher.
Sung To by the Vienna Boy’s Choir.
Given a Wedgie by your older brother.
Lied To by your government.
Sodomized in the men’s room by a Republican Senator.
Rolled in flour, cut into little pieces, fried up, and served
to your family by the muppet chef.
and
Ignored by your bartender.
Have a nice day,
J”

Yes, this is what Facebook is all about. My question is – how did the infantiles behind it get so many of us who are well past high school to join? You can spend hours on end adding little ‘applications’ (once again – don’t ask if this lingo has you feeling ancient – count yourself lucky instead!), then inviting all your friend(s) to add same application(s) to their account and off we go – biting, anal probing, throwing sheep and buying virtual beers on-line. What ever happened to doing it all for real?

These are the real leaders of the world… the generation that stopped running around on the nearest field playing football, play-fighting their friends, role playing vampires and werewolves. Our generation’s games have by their generation been re-invented in a virtual world – and we’re joining in. Is that what it is? Are we missing our childhood games so much we’re just grateful to have found them in a setting where we can pretend to be working while we’re actually re-visiting our childhood fantasy worlds?

The programmers of Facebook have not only trapped their own generation in this immobile world of virtual playing; they have trapped my generation along with them – Generation X – making us even more lost than we were before. As if being a post-war generation was too much to deal with and joining our children in virtual reality saves us from dealing with the real world in some way. Instead of dealing with things face to face we can throw virtual sheep around cyberspace thus ridiculing the usefulness of the Internet, ridiculing ourselves and each other.

But the last laugh is on us. Our kids, the inventors of immobile playing have got us figured out. Fat and getting fatter they have come up with a way of stopping us from shouting at them to STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER! PUT THE KEYBOARD DOWN AND GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY! Because now – now we know why they don’t. They’ve given us access to their toys, and to their bliss it’s keeping us quiet and out of their hair for hour after hour… after hour.

Yes, I too am caught. And I’m feeling slightly sick.

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