The unbelievable growth of Facebook and Twitter has opened up quandaries of truth, identity and safety.
‘God hath given you one face, yet you make yourselves another.’ Little did Hamlet know how true these words would become in the internet age, when screennames would open up pathways to new identities.
The unbelievable growth of Facebook (adding a million users a day, fastest in the over-35 demographic) and Twitter has opened up quandaries of truth, identity and safety.
Celebrities and their PRs have been hiring out-of-work writers to write their Facebook blogs and even Twitter nuggets to make their fans feel intimately connected to their fave celebrity’s ‘private’ thoughts: ‘OMG! We love the same book! We’re SOOOOO alike, Britney and I!’ screams an excited teenager.
Never mind, says 50 Cent’s writing PA, that he doesn’t actually use Facebook: ‘His spirit is in every line,’ because the sentences are lifted from past interviews. The joke is of course on a consuming paying fanbase who think they are getting real insight into a real personality.
The ones who have really benefitted from Facebook and Twitter, though, are kidnappers. In countries like Venezuela and Colombia police are warning teenagers not to post the names of their friends, their travel routines or photos of their cars with license plate numbers, for these have made organized kidnappings fantastically easy to execute, with these social networking sites providing fertile hunting ground for kidnap prey.
Maybe the easy way out of this is for those ditsy teenagers to finally benefit from following the example of their vacuous icons and hire PRs to do their blogging and twittering for them. Then the kidnappers would have to do some real work for their money.