Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The bizarre world of Facebook groups

I think I’m finally getting the hang of this Facebook thing. Yesterday I discovered groups, and more interestingly, the feature that tells you what groups your friends have recently joined. Now I consider myself an eclectic kind of guy – I listen to rock ‘n roll, the classics, easy listening, folk, jazz, and techno (but I’ll never learn to appreciate rap); I’ll read just about anything (see my book list for evidence of that); and I count as friends (the real kind – not just the Facebook variety) a group that is quite diverse in age, social standing, background, political beliefs and religious affiliations. But nothing quite prepared me for the list of “Recently joined by your friends” groups.

Topping the list is the “Take the David Suzuki Nature Challenge” group, recently joined by a young lady of my acquaintance who is energetic, socially-minded and an activist. That’s a good thing – if it weren’t for youth and their enthusiasm and commitment to various and sundry causes it would just be us old guys doing the same old things and expecting different results. I have no idea how joining a group will affect climate change, but hey, it’s worth a shot isn’t it?

Then there’s the group “The word ‘gay’ is not a synonym for ‘stupid’” joined by another young idealist tilting at a different windmill. Presumably she and 52,406 others share some common cause related to gay intelligence, but it's hard to figure out what from a name that's probably a quote from The Simpsons or Trailer Park Boys. The logo is (stereotypically) a rainbow flag upon which is superimposed the text “HATE FREE ZONE”. I have no issue with smart gays, or even stupid ones (surely there are some), but the name makes no sense to me, so I think I'll pass on this group. Besides, I'm not a big fan of the rainbow being co-opted as a socio-political statement - I'm still looking for my pot of gold at the end of it.

Third on the list is the “Flintstone Curling Club”. I always thought of Fred as a bowler, but I guess if he’d been a Canadian …. Anyway, this friend along with two other like-minded individuals felt it was necessary to first create, and then join this particular group. With a total of three members, this group could meet in a phone booth, so I’m not sure why the power of the internet had to be harnessed to improve communications, but there you have it.

Then to top it all off was the “worlds largest tree crusher fan club” group. For those few readers who may not know what the world’s largest tree crusher is, I direct you to
http://www.district.mackenzie.bc.ca/. As big as this thing is, it’s still an inanimate object – many tons of rusting steel – so it’s not clear to me why there would even be a tree crusher fan club. I mean, it’s not like it can sign autographs, or go on tour, or anything. Are there tree crusher t-shirts? Album covers? Whatever, apparently 250 facebookers (if that’s not yet an acceptable adjective, it soon will be) have decided to become tree crusher fan club members. Go figure.

Now there’s not really anything wrong with belonging to a group, no matter how bizarre or odd-sounding it may be, but what bothers me is that I know all these people! I’m the common denominator here! My short list of friends includes gay rights activists, environmentalists, cartoon fetishists and tree crusher groupies. It would make for a hell of a party! Now all I need to do is go and see if there’s a TL-125 vintage trials motorcycle group I can join to bring in the biker crowd.

1 comment:

JohnQPublic said...

Hey I'm one of those 3 guys at The Flintstone curling club - we had hoped to sign up all 32 of the curlers in Nepean who constitute one of the longest running curling clubs in Ottawa. We had our bonspiel yesterday and I was hoping to post our photos so that all the participants can enjoy them.
Don't make fun of what you don't understand.... please!