- Arts & Literature
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By Sam George
Facebook has seen the meteoric rise of Farmville, Mafia Wars, the virtual poke, status updates and other manifestations of human idiocy. But none is quite so baffling as the inane Facebook group, through which people with too much time, too many pimples and too few friends find a sense of belonging by publicly professing their identification with a varied array of absurd causes.
The most popular type of group states something totally mundane, in the hope that others will delight in knowing that they are not the only ones who feel an allegiance to “Not Being Pregnant” or “Getting The Perfect Milk To Cereal Ratio”.
The unspoken code is for fans to agree profusely with the title of the group, as ‘Erin Elizabeth’ did in “I Hate How I Go Out Of My Way To Step On A Crunchy Leaf And It Is Not Crunchy” when she declared it “the most disappointing feeling ever!” Is it really, Erin?
Some groups convey an irrelevant statistic – “For Every 940,000 People Who Join This Group, One Will Be Mauled by Bears” – others are content to express the simple joy of being alive, like the classic “I Do Not Want To Be Eaten By Sharks”, while a significant proportion share the mean-spirited intention of “The Extremely Awkward Moment When An Ugly Person Calls Themselves Ugly”.
As well as being a way to feel kinship with like-minded individuals, Facebook group creators show a dogged commitment to current affairs. The group “Hurricane Gustav is Sarah Palin’s Fault” proved popular with rabid environmentalists, while “Princess Beatrice’s Ridiculous Hat Killed Osama Bin Laden” has already attracted a growing flock of devotees, one of whom also alleged that her hat – likened by some to moose antlers – was the cure for cancer and the reason why the Titanic sunk.
Perhaps because the IQ of the people joining these groups is scarcely higher than room temperature, some of the more provocative titles have been the cause of offence. “Have You Ever Noticed How People With Down’s Syndrome Have Limited Hairstyle Options”, as you might have guessed, boasted relatively few members from the disabled community, whilst the jovially entitled “Attack A Teacher Day!” got six twelve year old girls arrested in Nevada, after one of them sent out invitations to over 100 of her friends to target particular teachers at her school. And the poor kid who started “If 1 Million People Join, My Dad Will Not Put Our Dog To Sleep” only has 3,659 members, and presumably a dead dog, prompting one well-wisher to proclaim: “Your dog deserved to die ”.
It seems that regular contributors to the inane Facebook group are those that don’t have the confidence to live beyond the security of a perspex computer screen. The truth is that this asinine drivel, which is occasionally amusing and always irrelevant, is a tragic reflection of the human desire to be heard. I’d block my ears if I were you.