It took researchers from the University of Cambridge and Stanford University to introduce me to and confirm my newest “best friend forever”. These researchers released a study indicating that Facebook may be better at judging people’s personalities than their closest friend, spouses, and in some case themselves. Using scientific methods and lots of computer science researchers discovered that Facebook outperformed any human, no matter what their relationship to the subjects. What I am gleaning from this research is that Facebook knows me better than anyone else . . . including me. In my book, or is it my head . . . or heart, that makes Facebook more than a great friend . . . it makes it the “perfect” friend. Facebook is my BFF!
Now, you are probably wondering how Facebook got to know you and me . . . us . . . so well. Simply put it is all based on our “likes”. Using the number of “likes” found on entries revealed personality habits and traits . . . the higher the number of “likes” the more reliable the statistics. Using computers compiling this data and super complicated computer science formulas, Facebook is better able to predict an individual’s response than friends, spouses, and even good ol’ mom. Using this information Facebook knows us better than we know ourselves. Facebook is the perfect friend.
Researchers, though they would not call Facebook a “friend” because a computer cannot truly have a heart-to-heart intimate relationship, imply that computers (which Facebook actually is) are better friends than any of our human companions ever could be. They base this on a few simple facts: computers don’t forget; computers are not judgmental; computers are not prejudicial; computers take people for who they are. Computers accept us; yet, at the same time—because they are computers—they do not like us or hate us. We just are who we are and computers take us for who we are.
Being an introvert I do not have what I would call a whole lot of friends . . . probably not anyone I would even call my “best friend” . . . people just clutter up the world I live in and complicate things. That being said, I would admit that I have friends . . . lots of acquaintances . . . and, yes, they do clutter and complicate my world. But, I can honestly state that I do not have that individual in my life that I would call my “best friend forever”. The wife comes close, but that is expected . . . we said vows, signed a license . . . and proclaimed our undying love to one another. She is not too bad and comes pretty close to being my BBF.
Even as introvert I still have the same longings as any other individual . . . I still long to have those personal connections with other human beings . . . still long to have that person in my life who knows me, understands me, and will put up with me (yeah, I know, I just described a spouse). I want that person who remembers to acknowledge my birthday without any prompting, remembers the good times . . . shoot, just plain remembers. I want that individual in my life that is non-judgmental about me and my life. That person that knows what I think, laughs at my jokes, understands my moods, and is willing to walk with me through life . . . always be there for me. Knows my “likes” and even my “dislikes”. Who doesn’t want someone like that in their lives? Extraverts are not the only ones with hearts and feelings!
According to the research Facebook is that and so much more!
Facebook never forgets a birthday . . . mine, yours, or anyone else’s. I get daily reminders of who is having a birthday with the gentle suggestion that maybe I should acknowledge that those birthdays with a loving message. Facebook knows my birthday and the birth dates of all the members of the family. Facebook remembers who the members of my family are, who my friends are, where I live, where I work, and what my favorite things are from music to food. Facebook understands and knows me so well that it even fills up my page with thoughtful and considerate advertisements to ease the burden of me having to think and surf the Internet whenever I have a hankering to do a little shopping.
Facebook doesn’t judge me if I want to put up some out-of-this-world liberal or conservative garbage no matter what the subject matter is . . . politics, religion, sports, music, of even seven thousand pet pictures. Facebook doesn’t care one way or another . . . it just accepts my asinine postings for what they are—asinine. Facebook doesn’t care what I do in life . . . good or bad . . . because in the micro-chips of its soul, everything I do is of equal weight. My life is just what it is as far as Facebook is concerned. Facebook loves me for who I am. Isn’t that what a “friend” supposed to do?
Shoot, Facebook knows me so well that it even tries to complete my sentences for me . . . already knows what I am going to say most of the time. That is how well Facebook knows me. Facebook is my constant companion (thanks to modern technology like cell phones and tablets) and everywhere I go, Facebook is right there. That is a good “friend”. What more could any of us ever desire when it comes to that companionship we call friendship?
I’m not sure how I missed it all of these years . . . this intimate relationship between Facebook and myself. I want to thank the researchers at the University of Cambridge and Stanford University for opening my eyes . . . and, my heart . . . to this friendship . . . this perfect friendship. My life is so much better now that I have that “best friend forever” . . . I am never alone. I bask in the warm glow of the Facebook page as it brings light into my life.
As an introvert, this is great. Facebook understands. When I need that quiet time . . . that alone time . . . Facebook understands and will not bother me (primarily because I turn the computer off). Facebook is not offended or willing to throw a guilt trip on me if I disappear for a few days . . . no! No, instead it welcomes me back with open screens, updates, and a ton of wonderfully stupid games to play! The more I think about it, the more in love I am falling with Facebook . . . could Facebook be my soulmate? I don’t know . . . in the meantime, I will bask in the glow of my new BBF. It is wonderful to be loved . . . I think?