Facebook: Pouty-mouth poses for narcoleptic dudes

The Los Angeles Times invited me to contribute a commentary about the popular student networking site Facebook. It ran today, and here's a snip:

You could describe Facebook.com as a digital yearbook, or the Internet equivalent of Greek T-shirts on frat brothers.

But most dead-tree yearbooks don't have 3.6 million members or party construction systems. Real-world sororities don't have names such as "Alpha Mega Pimpin," "The Divine Innocence of Jessica Simpson" or "I Just Tried to Ford the River and My [Fucking] Oxen Died," in homage to the 1980s video game "Oregon Trail."

Facebook does. And it conquered college America instantly.

Like its paper predecessors, the site provides students with tools to stay in touch, proclaim school pride and scrawl in-jokes next to head shots. Pouty-mouth glamour puss is the favored female photo pose. Male portraits often capture narcoleptic undergrads mid-kegger, adorned with live animals, football-foam headgear – or other narcoleptic undergrads.

But a glance at growth stats shows that as membership spreads – faster than strep-throat bugs at a spin-the-bottle session – the service is becoming a popular extension of real life at campuses across the country.


Previously — Facebook: just poke me

Reader comment: Ian says,

A group of Northeastern University students made a commentary on Facebook as part of Campus Movie Fest 2005 in Boston, MA. Their submission didn't win the contest, but it did make it to the finals. It's another good example of how Facebook has cemented itself as a part of campus life. Link

Denise Nelson Nash of Caltech University in Pasadena, CA tells BB,

[Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg will be speaking at Caltech on Thursday, November 10, 2005 at 8 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium. He will be sharing his thoughts on the future of thefacebook and digital interactive yearbooks. Link to event info.