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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Thursday, October 14, 2010


There is something puzzling about Facebook.
The recent movie about its founding
Has engendered critical reviews and
Questions about its place in social discourse.

As the initial function of informing "friends"
About one's current actions and activities
Has been largely replaced by Twitter,
A variety of uses have sprung up in Facebook.

Most harmless are the silly games,
Except that one's prowess at each
Is a bore to read in daily postings
For those totally uninterested.

Also tedious to be burdened with
Are the postings of young people
That are meaningless to others
Outside the group that they belong to.

More sinister are the solicitations
From nubile young women one does not know
To become their "friends"
For purposes unspecified.

Who befriends whom is a matter of conjecture
As to why one befriends someone else,
And why the rest of us should care,
When we don't know the potential friend at all.

Simply because one person is a friend of our friend,
Why are we invited to befriend him or her?
What then, does being a Facebook friend really mean?
What privileges and obligations does friendship entail?

Facebook has announced a plan
To enable members to form inner and outer groups of friends,
Which will perhaps remove some of the clutter
But leave open the question of what a Facebook friend is.

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