Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Poke

What he said about Facebook:
Network Leaves a World of Possibilities at Your Fingertips

Poke.

My phone vibrates in my pocket. I pull it out to find I have been “poked” by someone with an unfamiliar name. I feel dirty. Some stranger has extended a digital finger and caused a brief rumbling sensation in my pants.

Though the idea of invisible strangers poking at me through Thefacebook doesn’t sit well, I like that they’re forwarded immediately to my phone. It’s one of the amenities that make me like Thefacebook, the online alternative to human interaction that’s sweeping campus like a case of mono.

Naysayers may deride the online community as a refuge for the weak, nerdy and otherwise unsociable. However, by isolating its online communities to a specific college campus, Thefacebook provides a valuable service. If I miss a class, I can quickly obtain the AIM screen names and cell phone numbers of 20 people who could lend me their notes.

Beyond the practical applications of Thefacebook lay the fun ones. Now you can find out that the looker from your orientation group likes “Patch Adams” and therefore learn you’ve been wasting your time. Conversely, you could potentially meet someone who shares your interests. It’s not likely, but it’s always possible. And one more way to help one person contact another can’t hurt — even if they just start out poking.

Please, feel free to poke away.

Daily Nexus Training Editor Drew likes anything related to fingers, poking, or vibrating — a lot.
What she said about Facebook:
Internet Shenanigans Are Eerily Reminiscent of High School

As a toddler, I was shy. I spoke only when spoken to - if then - and as my mother taught me, I was leery of strangers.

Since then, I’ve developed basic social skills. I’m able to mingle, meet new people and make new friends. And I’m proud of this; I no longer have the social capacity of a 3-year-old.

Now the Internet threatens to diminish these accomplishments. Damnit, Facebook, since when did one-on-one social interaction become a thing of the past?

The truth is, Facebookers, your little Mecca of online matchmaking is nothing more than a self-perpetuating version of those fucking e-mail profiles I used to receive from my high school friends - duplicate forms, all with the same pathetic message: “Fill this out and learn things about people you never knew! Send them to everyone you know!” Imagine my surprise when I found out Susie’s favorite color was orange or that Brenda’s favorite movie was “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” (Brenda, you sappy bastard.) Now you can send that same ridiculous who-the-fuck-cares info to people you don’t even know. (Facebooker, I hear you whimpering. I see you contemplating rushing home to form a “People who hate Kristen Richer” group.)

Hurrah, but here’s a different suggestion: Try stepping out of the Internet tech-geek force field that is Thefacebook and actually interacting with people via conversation or recreation. And when you do, don’t mention you have a fetish for monkeys or that your favorite flick is “Beaches.” Trust me on this one.

Daily Nexus Assistant County Editor Kristen Richer still holds her whisky like a 3-year-old.
Clearly, I won. Evidence: I convinced Tiye to join Facebook. And many thanks to the seven strangers who poked me today. I didn't realize that my column was an open invitation to a storm of pokes and I don't regret it.

Ten bucks to anybody who starts a "I Hate Kristen Richer" Facebook club.

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