Facebook sorts you, forces friendship
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 14:04
At the beginning of this week, Facebook went back to its roots by offering UVM students the opportunity to join an exclusive group only if they provide a valid UVM email address.
Once the email has been confirmed, Facebook takes over as the “sorting hat” from Harry Potter, and, based on your year, major, clubs and activities, Facebook places you into groups with other people.
Time will tell if this will catch on. So far, one of the most popular groups is “Free and For Sale,” an informal marketplace where students have begun selling fridges, dorm furniture and the like.
While it’s a definitely a cool new strategy cooked up at Facebook HQ, we at the Cynic think Facebook is getting a bit out of hand with this new “forced networking” strategy.
Just by answering a few questions about your interests, you are now sorted into groups and signed up to receive notifications from people with similar majors/interests as you.
What’s next? We imagine the following message appearing in a newsfeed sooner or later: “Facebook sees that you posted about puppies three days ago. You are now in the Puppies group and will be hosting a Puppy party next Saturday at your house.” Puppies may be a bad example, but imagine the same scenario with clowns.
Predictions aside, reactions to these new groups have been mixed. “Facebook seems to be taking the whole social connection thing to a new level ... not sure if I like it or not, but hello everyone,” one user posted.
Regardless of opinion, it will be interesting to watch exactly how the groups are going to form and what they are going to accomplish.
The “Events and Parties” group may be the first to get out of hand: post that you are having a party and you may end up with the entire first-year class knocking at your door.
But just as with anything Facebook does, people usually are upset for the first week and then get used to it. Maybe we will, too. But for now, this disturbing trend makes us weary that Facebook may soon be running the door at our social gatherings.