Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,
I have been an avid user of your site since 2005 when my college friends and I joked about how Facebook should really be called StalkerNet. I’ve mumbled and groaned with the best of them about changes you have made to the site in the past, but with this new set of changes, it is clear that I find in you a like mind.
While I can’t say that I’m surprised at all that you read all of our minds in taking the StalkerNet concept to the next level, I am a bit surprised that my thoughts aren’t automatically showing up in my Facebook feed already. This is America in 2011, is it not? After all, if my thoughts and all details of my life including likes, preferences, and what I’m doing at every second of the day can automatically show up in several locations on Facebook (including places where people I may not want to see that information can access it), I can finally stop interacting with people in person. In fact, I won’t even need to talk to them at all — not in person, on the phone, through email, IM, or any other medium! Actual social interaction is so painful for awkward people like me. But why am I telling you that? I know you understand!
I write this letter to propose a change to Facebook that will help make all of that a possibility. This will have to be rolled out over time, so your developers won’t need to rush in any way. Take your time and really perfect this.
Assuming we all survive the apocalypses of October 21, 2011 (you know, the make-up date for the May 21, 2011 Apocalypse That Wasn’t) and December 21, 2012, you will need to begin rolling out this first piece of technology immediately. December 22, 2012 kind of immediately. What it is, is a neurobiological-ish chip that is implanted behind the ear of every newborn baby. This Facebook Chip comes automatically linked to a profile page for that child that is activated upon implantation.
The chip will monitor all activity — internal and external alike — and will send that data to the baby’s Facebook page. As the child’s brain develops, status updates will begin to make sense. In the meantime, scientists will be able to use the data mined from these profiles (a profit for you, to be sure) to study child development and psychology.
Gone are the days when mothers will need to fill out traditional baby books as keepsakes for their children. The Facebook Timeline will cover everything literally from the day the child was born. Upon death, these pages will all be made available to genealogists to study family histories. That won’t happen for many years, though (but leave good notes for your successor).
All of the children’s activity — milestone and mundane — will be posted via the chip. Leave no stone unturned! Every activity must be recorded! By the time the children are teenagers, the archaic notion of privacy will have never existed for them, and you will see far less complaining every time you decide to take liberties with your site.
By about 2021, actual computers will be so over. You should be finished developing the technology that will allow our Facebook pages to be surgically placed on the backs of our eyelids with lasers. This procedure will be scheduled for everyone by default unless they manually change their preferences to opt out.
As the children grow older, you’re fine-tuning their chips from your control tower. Partnering with Match and eHarmony, you have already decided if each child will marry/partner up, and with whom. You make it happen,
Now comes the fun part!
Once this first generation of “Facebook Babies” is old enough to procreate and you have determined the appropriate mate for them (and who knows, maybe that ridiculous divorce rate will even decrease because of you!), you will change the face of future-modern ultrasonography. How, you ask?
The chip that is already in the mother’s brain creates a linked “family member” page at the moment of conception. Gone will be the days of pregnancy tests and waiting anxiously. The mother will simply receive a notification on her Facebook page telling her that “Baby [Last Name]” has listed her as their mother. When she confirms this relationship, an image, similar to our current 4-D ultrasounds, will be sent much like a mobile upload from her womb.
This technology is called Facebook Fetus, and it allows the child to start socializing with other fetuses immediately. The mother’s chip records all activity to her unborn child’s page until the beginning of her third trimester. At that point, it will be safe for the baby to receive its own chip via a simple procedure performed in utero.
I know this raises some questions.
First of all, what if the mother leaves the child’s request in limbo, neither confirming nor denying? Then again, what if the mother just flat-out refuses?
Glad you asked. A team of specially trained Facebook social workers will be notified and will begin connecting immediately with other members of the Facebook community (aka, the entire world) who might be interested in adopting the baby. Given the chip, however, the child will be able to go back and learn who its real parents are and that they didn’t want him (or her). Write that into your TOS. You are NOT responsible for children who use your site to locate their birth parents, learn everything about them, follow them, and kill them. Sure, you’ve made it easy, but it’s their fault for using it that way!
What if the mom isn’t ready to tell her family and friends (or even the father) about her pregnancy yet, but the baby auto-tags her in the Celebratory Sonogram picture?
Sorry. All tagged content is automatically released to friends-of-friends by default given the August 23, 2011 privacy changes. Mothers will have to learn to deal with unruly children.
What if people don’t want chips implanted into their brains?
If they mysteriously lose consciousness while you giggle your soft, maniacal giggle at them and it just happens while they’re out… oops! When this technology starts kicking in at conception, though, you won’t really need to worry about it.
By this point technology will allow us to access Facebook without closing our eyes to see the backs of our eyelids, so a simple super-laser procedure will occur at birth to load Facebook onto our retinas. When we think about Facebook, we’ll be able to see and interact with the site using the power of our minds.
As you can imagine, the Timeline will have become a rich experience full of details and interesting for anyone to read. Personally, I look forward to the future when the chips tell me when my friends have flossed their teeth, changed brands of toilet paper, and wiped pee dribbles off of the toilet seat. The high-res images will make this come alive for me so that even when I’m not there, I’ll feel like I was. Staying connected is what Facebook is all about, after all, right?
One last thing, timelines will only alter information in the event that someone is murdered by their Facebook stalkers. With all of this information being tossed around, it’s best to have a crisis PR plan ready. In this case, my professional opinion is that you have the timelines auto-rewrite to indicate that it was an accident. What a disaster that negative press would be for you!
All of this has the added bonus of giving you the power you seek. You will essentially determine everything that a person is and will be: the people in their lives, their likes and dislikes, their hobbies and interests. DNA will be overwritten with Facebook code. The pT gene (“privacy thing”) will not exist as it will be written out.
I’m very excited to see how you incorporate my ideas into the future of Facebook. I would be glad to discuss any of these ideas with you if you meet me at Bot’s Tavern in Selinsgrove, PA. If you find public interaction to be too awkward and risky (who doesn’t these days, am I right!?), I am more than willing to meet you in the parking lot of the former Chuck’s Sports Bar, also located in Selinsgrove.
Thank you for your time and consideration, Zuck.
Franklin G. Sheepfoot