Dear Facebook User:
Yesterday, we introduced the “Like” button for Facebook pages. Instead of becoming a fan of page, you can “like” it.
Communicating textually can be a messy, confusing experience. Words and actions online are open to interpretation, and the danger of misunderstanding is always present. For your emotional convenience, we are standardizing the word “like”.
The “like” button will “…increase the number of connections made across the site”. The more casual the liking the better. We wouldn’t want any relationship to get too serious or heavy.
If you happen to “love” a page, just keep that to yourself. Facebook doesn’t offer users an option to proclaim love. If you must, write a “<3″ in the comment box; it’s ambiguous enough to snuff out emotion.
At Facebook headquarters, we’ve been reading Friedrich Nietzsche’s collected works and other assorted philosophy books, and, as you can see, these texts have inspired us to do some deep thinking.
Nietzsche once wrote, “A friend should be a master at guessing and keeping still: you must not want to see everything.”
If Nietzsche was right, then our platform is a great way for you to keep friends guessing. You can reveal small bits of information and cultivate the image that you want to present to your friends.
When you post a photo of yourself 10 pounds lighter with makeup applied by a professional makeup artist, you are, in reality, svelte and glamorous. That image of you is real because it exists on the web, and your “friends” believe it to be true.
At Facebook, we allow you to create alternate frames of reality that are impossible to maintain when you’re walking around in your grunge-y sweatpants with your hair in a messy bun.
Never feel the need to fill your status update box with honest revelations about rocking your greasy, bed-head look, but don’t think too hard about the alternative.
As Nietzsche once wrote, “…if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”
The Facebook status update box is exactly like the “abyss” Nietzsche described. We auto-populate the box with “What’s on your mind?” to provide you with a prompt. That’s a tough enough question.
However, in a few weeks you will see the question: “What is the meaning of life?”.
The longer you take to post a status update, the more you will begin to question your existence. This shit is real, people.
(Photo by Robert S. Donovan)