herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Savagei: Facebook is like religion - so odd but so compelling

FACEBOOK is dying. Okay, this may be overstating the reality somewhat, but figures this week in the US did show a decrease in the number of people using the site.

Facebook were quick to refute the figures, quoting stuff about their 'active-users' and how none of them have left (part of the reason for that must be because it's easier to remove your fingerprints than it is to completely delete yourself.)

Not being a Facebooker, I have relied on others to explain the phenomenon to me, and it's one of those things that really doesn't sound good when explained. It's like religion; millions of people love it, but it's tremendously odd when boiled down.

This hasn't seemed to turn people off the website, just like religion's oddness never turns people off their faith. The Mormon religion, for example, is the fastest growing in the world, yet large parts of it can be summarised as "an American chap put his face in a hat containing magic rocks. God appeared in the hat, told him how to live. Also suggested that he should pick up a few extra wives".

Facebook has way more followers than the Church of the Latter Day Saints yet it's even odder when summarised, "put up stuff to show off to people you don't really like, then secretly sneer at their pictures. Also, become friends with 400 people you don't know, as well as some radio stations, toilet-paper, and your local pub".

In essence, Facebook seems to make people do what normal people should not do. As a case in point, take Joanne Fraill. She just got sentenced in London to eight months in jail for Facebooking the defendant in a criminal drugs trial while she was on the jury hearing the case.

Thanks to Facebook, she was able to develop a bizarre, pointless friendship which ultimately landed her in the slammer. This week's declining Facebook figures are the first evidence that some day Joanne, and hopefully the rest of us, will look back at this global addiction the same way we now look back at hackey sacks and communism.

Anton Savage likes this.

Floating is not like drowning

This week's big internet story is the YouTube video of an orang-utan who lived in Dublin Zoo. The media have gone nuts over him...but they appear to have failed to watch the video.

It is entitled "Orangutan saves baby chick from drowning" and that title has been echoed in most of the headlines relating to the story.

Headlines which led more than 65,000 people to view the clip. Each of whom could now sue for false advertising.

Some basic rules should apply when using the terms 'saves' and 'drowning:'

1) A perfectly healthy duckling in a pond is not drowning. It is 'floating'.

2)Floating -- whether or not you are a duckling -- is your choice and should not be interrupted by an ape.

3) If an ape is going to 'save' you, it should not be by the head.

4) 'Saving' should not involve repeatedly poking you in with a finger the size of a courgette.

The duckling chest-poking is where the video abruptly ends. Just before the footage stops you can hear a mother in the background saying to her kids, "lets go feed the penguins and the sealions" which translates as "let's get the hell out of here before that massive orange moron takes that little duck and sucks it, squashes it or sticks it in his ear."

Not Greek or a cross dresser

Michael Noonan keeps saying 'we're not Greece'. This is the Ministerial equivalent of saying 'I'm not a cross-dresser.' Do it enough times and people are going to start picturing you in heels.

KAyman al-Zawahiri is the new head of al-Qa'ida. Imagine how happy he must have been to discover that someone let the world (and the Americans) know who the new Osama Bin-Laden is? Anyone else hear the sound of Black Hawks?

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