May 11, 2004

Facebook defies utilitarianism, insults Mill

It has arrived. The University of Chicago is now on the popular computer friend-networking system called The Facebook.

The Facebook is a website that was started by a student at Harvard University earlier this year and has since spread to other top universities across America. Much like Friendster.com and Myspace.com, The Facebook is an outrageously addictive website that does not seem to have any significance whatsoever.

I know this because I joined! That's right, I have an account on this insane website. I was extremely confused as to what this website was. So confused that I made my password "whatthehellisthis?" I have recently changed it due to the fact that I log back into the website every half hour and typing such a long password every time gets pretty annoying. So basically, I was confused when I joined and I am just as confused now. Here are a few of the things I have noticed about The Facebook.

People are suddenly scrambling for friends, contacting anyone and everyone so that their number of friends will increase. If you like someone's name, ask him to be your friend. If you like someone's picture, ask him to be your friend. I think I saw you once in the dining hall, be my friend. People are getting random friend requests and are therefore denying other people the privilege of being their friend. I have begun to fear being denied by my actual real-life friends. That is not right. I need a confirmation from you in order to classify you as my friend. Somehow seeing your picture linked to me on The Facebook makes our friendship official. Don't bother talking to me anymore; it's OK, as long as your picture is in my "Friends" space.

I have also noticed that people are searching for the most flattering picture they can find. I have decided to put up my most unflattering picture in protest. The whole picture thing just adds to my theory that this website is meant to either increase the number of people who get married at this school (as if it isn't high enough), or is a conspiracy engineered by the suicide prevention committee to de-stress people by getting them laid easier. Why do I think this? Because under your personal info you can enter any of the following after "Interested in Meeting for": Friendship, Dating, A Relationship, Random play, Whatever I can get. Does anyone else find this hysterical?

Can somebody please tell me what "poking" somebody is? I signed on to The Facebook today and it said that I had been poked! What is that? I don't want to be poked in real life and I don't want to be poked via the Internet, so please stop poking me.

What makes this stupid service so special anyway? I have e-mail, I have AOL Instant Messenger, and I have a freaking voice. How many methods of communication do people need? This is absurd!

Despite the fact that I spend hours upon hours staring at people on The Facebook, I have yet to understand what this website is for. Is it meant to boost my self esteem? Because it is not working. Also, "Whatever I can get" has turned out to be a whole lot of nothing, which may be because of my unflattering picture. I guess this website is just another place where I can procrastinate instead of doing all my work that needs to be done.

I think one of my friends put it the best when she said in her AOL Instant Messenger away message, "With the advent of thefacebook.com's arrival on campus, I am unable to sit near my computer without a) wasting colossal amounts of time or b) being a totally creepy stalker."