Friday, October 17, 2008

Facebook causes death?

Which causes more deaths per year, saccharin or Facebook? (Answer below.)

Imagine this. You just broke up with a significant other and upon the next Facebook login you realize you are no longer considered “in a relationship” or “married.” Thus, you change your status to “single.” Nothing out of the ordinary here, right? I’m sure many of you have done this exact thing. Seems pretty innocuous.

Well, not in this day and age. Mr. Wayne Forrester of Croydon, England was on the other end of such a Facebook experience and decided to take things into his own hands. I mean, how dare his soon to be ex-wife tell her friends via Facebook that she and her husband have split.

Hell, we share everything else on there. The idea of personal privacy has certainly changed in the last decade or two. Imagine in 1984 if you were told your friends knew your every move (granted at the time my friends and I thought girls had cooties and Danny White was the best quarterback ever, but just pretend.) Most people would have had two reactions: first that of disbelief, and then of outrage.

“Surely no one has such an ability, and if they did what an affront to personal liberty!”

The cry of the fruition of an Orwellian future would sure bring people to act in outrage. They would rise up against Big Brother and shed their shackles of doublespeak.

Nowadays many of us couldn’t imagine not knowing everything as soon as it happened. With tools like Twitter we’re actually broadcasting, sometimes to complete strangers, our every activity. And, we do it in our own type of doublespeak.

WTF? @TEOTD IMHO we r nutz & F2F comm will die AFDN. But, wca?

You understand it? You know at least half of it I’m sure. Translation: “What the fuck? At the end of the day we are nuts and face-to-face communication will die any fucking day now. But, who cares anyways?”

Yes, these are all accepted, if not commonly used “words” in the new doublespeak. So, have we entered into the beginning phase of Orwell’s futuristic society? If we have, are we the ones to blame? There’s plenty more to talk about regarding privacy and liberty in our present day, but I’ll leave you with this.

Mr. Forrester of Croydon arrived at his old house in the early hours of the morning and, upon entering, attacked his ex Emma with a kitchen knife and a meat cleaver. He stabbed and hacked her to death. His defense? The Facebook posting “ totally devastated and humiliated” him. Unfortunately, this violent act based on on-line communication isn’t an isolated incident.

So, to answer the question, Facebook causes more deaths. Saccharin has never been proven to be a carcinogen and as of 2000 the USDA has proclaimed saccharin as safe.

Next time you reach the keyboard to update your status, pause and think.

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