The slightly dark side to this manipulation was that I got lots of emails from some of the people I’d added as favourites, excited that I appeared to like them, and interpreting it as significant.These people were then sometimes hurt if I didn’t reply to their email. I ended up being an agony aunt to women all over the world, firing out tens of emails a day to lonely Bridget Joneses…‘Hey, don’t worry, I’m sure things will turn around, plenty more fish in the sea, just stay positive OK? The journalist (or voyeur) in me had to find out who was the person behind the profile page.I noticed there was a ‘popular board’, which listed the top 20 men and the top 20 women on the site, rated according to the rate at which others were adding them as favourites.So I simply added hundreds of women as one of my favourites (around 200 or so in an hour).History is speeding up, or our memories are getting shorter.
Another person, who works at the French embassy in London, assured visitors to her profile page that she would be their ‘mother, sister, daughter, whore’.
Think how incredibly disruptive that new technology was for traditional ways of interacting.
Think of the role the humble Mexican yam played in the Sexual Revolution, in free love, in feminism, in the rise of single-occupancy apartments and the decline of the nuclear family.
In many ways, it ‘fits’ with our evolutionary nature, which is used to living in a small tribe of 100-300 people.
Facebook gives us an online version of this tribe, but it rationalizes it, streamlines it, makes it more efficient.
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Perhaps the most disruptive technology is the internet, which has in a few years utterly changed how we communicate, share information, shop, travel, think and love.