Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Cult I Joined

Sometime ago I joined a cult, popular amongst university students, known as facebook.

"Wait!" you protest, "That's not a cult, it's an online social networking tool!"

Such are the claims made by facebook, but I fear that claims do not make reality, and the reality is that facebook is a cult. What is the basis for such an assertion? What evidence do I have to support this accusation?

Exhibit A: Weird behaviour. I have a friend with whom my communication is almost exclusively through facebook. He knows my email, he knows my phone number, he's on my msn, but he only writes messages to me on my facebook "Wall". Why is this strange? Any of these other forms of communication are vastly more efficient, but communication through our respective facebook walls adds an extra layer of inneficiency to the communication process. Not only do I have to open a browser to read the email that tells me that someone has posted on my wall, I then have to log in to facebook to read the message.

Exhibit B: More weird behaviour. In the last two weeks, I have been looking for a place to sublet for the summer. I looked at one place that, in the end, I decided not to sublet. I sent an email to the current tenant to inform her that that I would not be subletting from her. It turns out that she is also a member of this cult. No more than a day later, I received an email telling me that she has added me as a friend on facebook. Within minutes of approving her as a facebook friend, she sent me a message telling me "alrite, but it's really hard to get summer sublet stuff done...but thanks for let me know!" Normal behaviour would be replying to my email directly. This is not normal. It is weird.

Only a cult could be responsible for such unusual forms of communication.

Exhibit C: Characteristic of many cults is unusual sexual behaviour. In facebook, this takes the form of "poking". The creator of facebook claims not to have a purpose for poking, but all facebook users know what he had in mind when he cooked up that feature. Why else would there be a facebook group called "Enough with the poking. Let's just have sex."? Zuckerberg, you dirty bird!

Exhibit D: You can leave any time you want, but would you mind telling us why? Have you ever tried leaving facebook? Your friends won't let you. A few have managed to break free, most only temporarily.

Exhibit E: Friends. Every day, I am informed by facebook that buddy and wasisname are now friends with the other fellers. I distrust any organzation that makes such liberal use of the word "friend".

Exhibit F: Aggressive recruitment tactics. Facebook will scour the contacts lists in all of your email accounts and encourage you to send facebook requests to all of your contacts who aren't already on facebook.

Exhibit G: Loss of individuality. See exhibit A. Your thoughts are no longer your own, but belong collectively to your "friends" (see exhibit E).

Exhibit H: Demands total devotion. See exhibit A and B. You must abandon all old forms of communication, and transmit messages only through facebook. You must only use your email account to receive notifications from facebook. All other responsibilities fall by the wayside as people become evermore consumed by facebook. You can see people's frustration with this when they create groups with titles encouraging facebook to do non-family-friendly things to itself because they're trying to do homework (such groups are only allowed to exist to create the illusion that dissent is allowed).

So there you have it folks. Rock solid evidence that facebook is a cult. Stay away while you still can!

1 comment:

L said...

yep it's a cult. but i guess the unusually charismatic individual that demands total allegiance is a more intangible networking.