Starfish Story: The Facebook Edition


A young computer programmer walked along a virtual beach where thousands of sheep had been washed ashore. He picked one up, threw the sheep at a friend and people smiled with amusement.

He did this for a while and then an investor waddled up to him and said, “My friend, why are you doing this? You can’t make people happy just throwing one sheep at a time!” The programmer froze and for a minute wondered if he should have Liked the investor’s statement.

“Go on tell me more”, Commented the programmer

“You see, throwing sheep one at a time is fine. But it’s boring! You have to throw cows, whiskey glasses, thongs, anything! You have to poke, and not just poke, you have to Super Poke!”

The investor explained, you see, you can’t have the same old, same old. Speak only English? No way. You have to speak Pirates English, Upside Down English. Your users need the ability to make meaningless Pages that could Get More Likes Than Justin Bieber, share wise-ass quotes and most importantly witty pictures of cats! You need to have a good relationship with your customers, It’s very Complicated – you need the right mix of interactivity and… wait for it…. a brand new layout on your website!

So the Programmer heeded the advice. And designed an awful layout.

But soon, rouge programmers started to get involved. They made applications and sold them for money. They created prank applications and upset everyone else. Friends of the Programmer saw the new layout, but did not Like it. They rallied up hate Pages, they sought for Petitions. They wanted things done their way, some did not like cats.

Birthdays are now a race to see who gets more greetings. People stopped calling each other, relationships became virtual, ready to toss away, easy to offend, convenient to delete. The Programmer had 5000 friends in his collection, but he wondered how many actually liked him for who he is. Suddenly, he found that his friends were rather vicious with their comments, as if somehow their keyboards were plugged to the most evil parts of their hearts.

Everyday the Programmer asked his friends, “What’s on your mind?”, “How do you feel”? But the only replies he got were clothing discounts, political hate speech and game requests. He tried new fangled ways to get his friends #having #genuine #heart_to_heart #conversations again but all he got was another food picture from someone’s lunch.

Merchants then crawled in, eager to make a quick profit. And they sold and they sold and they sold. DISCOUNTS! PROMOTIONS! LIKE US AND GET A FREE POTATO! Here is a Page for this widget, another Group for that product. His friends hated it. “Not another lame competition”?!? They cried.

And so one at a time he got unfriended… Day by day, his Candy got Crushed.

The Programmer took a walk down the beach.

“All I wanted to do was throw sheep”, he said to himself.

He saw one sheep and threw it at his friend.

And his friend smiled.



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