28 July 2012

Paper Facebook


The entity known as Facebook should be legally required to make itself available in paper form, so that those who lack access to computers are no longer deprived of their inalienable right to participate in the defining social phenomenon of the period roughly 2007-2015.

At the very least, it should not be allowed to call itself a book.  Books are made of paper, or failing that, can be read on a Kindle.  A name change to Facewebsite, Friend-e-pages, BuddyPlatform, Virtual Palville or the like should be mandated by law.  Either words mean what they mean, or they don't.  We can't have it both ways.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution to the dual problems of lack of access and improper nomenclature.  The answer is Paper Facebook.

Imagine that every morning – wait, no: up to six times per day, depending on your payment plan, proximity to the local post office, and the weather – you have delivered to your mailbox a handsomely bound volume of printouts of screen shots of status updates from your friends.  With each of these 'Newsfeeds' comes a response form: you can tick a box to Like something, write (or typewrite) in your comment, attach a web link or, for those without computers, the address or phone number of a person or publication to serve as a reference or perhaps provide some humorous perspective on the issue at hand … and so on and so forth.  When done affix postage to the return envelope and send to the Virtual Palville data processing center for entry / uploading.  If you want to 'download' a photo simply fill out Request for Image Form RIH370-J and mail it in along with $1.50 for shipping and handling and a SASE.  As volume is high, expect to receive your photos within 45 business days. 

Think of how many jobs this would create – there goes unemployment, right there.  And they would be good jobs.  Folks always be kvetching that they want their job to be doing something they love, well they're already clicking around on Faceburg all day anyway, now they’d have a job doing it, and with decent benefits, and Zuck would be the one paying them but heck he should be paying them.  They would be earning good money helping friends share with each other, which is really the most important thing in life, so they would be delighted to do it and have nothing to gripe about.  Can't really see any downside.

Okay more forests will be cut down but hey, that's just life in the internet age.  We can’t stop these unstoppable trends and if it means we have to cut down our forests again, Paper Faceborg will totally be worth it for the opportunity it provides to simultaneously neglect and overshare with people who are at least in some sense our friends.  Future generations will thank us for the hysterical internet memes we leave behind which will provide them a cheap source of entertainment in the bleak times to come, which are just an abstraction for us but the only reality they will ever know.

So come on People of the Legislature (O Mighty Lawmakers lol):  Get off your elbows already and start imposing senseless mandates on Facebank.

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