Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mark Zuckerberg, I take back what I said about you... (but do I still feel the same about facebook 7 years later?)

It all began in mid-2005 when the 24-year-old son of an old friend returned from a week's holiday at my place and invited me as his Facebook friend. I like Dave Herzenberg so I signed up. Soon after that I received almost daily friend requests and after a while it became a serious annoyance. I was tempted to delete my account more than once.

Then I read somewhere that Yahoo! had offered you $1.7 billion for Facebook - and that you had turned them down! That got me really mad, Mark. First of all how could a nerd come up with just another variation of the networking site and attract so much interest in such a short time that he'd be technically a billionaire? Guys like me have been plodding on for decades, dreaming of that elusive Big Break... and here comes a kid on rollerblades whizzing out of nowhere with a nothing idea and... anyway, how dare you turn your nose up at 1.7 billion bucks?

I got even madder when friends kept asking me to add all sorts of apps - just so they could poke me and turn me into a zombie (yeah, that's what I've always wanted). But why didn't I just delete my Facebook account and breathe a huge sigh of relief?

Well, the sad truth is: I couldn't! I was secretly having too much fun flirting with the women and bonding with the men. Then amazing things began to happen: long-lost friends spontaneously appeared in my Facebook inbox; people I had long wanted to meet suddenly added me as a friend!

Damn... I knew then that whatever Mark Zuckerberg's original intentions were, he had created a monster beyond anyone's control. Nobody can predict what will happen when family and friends begin to merge on Facebook (up till now they've always been separate worlds). But I've got my buddies and my two daughters and their mother, as well as my sister and one brother, on my Facebook friends' list - and that alone is a phenomenon. Distant nieces and nephews have added me as their friend... people who bumped into me eight, nine years ago at a party have added me as a friend. It's a weird unpredictable journey into a dimension of universal connectivity one could only dream about even 10 years ago.

There are detractors who warn about having so much personal data on Facebook's servers - and then there are all these auxiliary app developers and their servers. What if the secret government is behind Facebook?

Well, fuck the secret government! We have nothing to hide. It's them that have been in hiding all these aeons. I haven't a clue where this will eventually lead, Mark, but I just wanted to tell you one thing: Facebook is pretty much a sign of the Aquarian times and you deserve to be fabulously rich because your simple idea is enabling a level of planetary connectivity that merges work and play across the board. That, ultimately, has got to be a very positive and wholesome evolutionary factor.

So, hey... thanks, buddy!

[From a facebook message to Mark Zuckerberg sent 20 Oct 2007 at 6:54pm. First posted 16 February 2012]