Back in the 1980’s, my sisters referred to me as a “modem monster,” because I would be up late at night on my Commodore 64, connecting to bulletin boards via a 300 baud* modem. This would be no cause for concern today, because they could just use their mobile phones. But back then, it was a major hassle, because we had a single landline for the entire household of nine people. Which is why I did it late at night.
*If you understood what I just said, you dated yourself. And you are a nerd.
Bulletin boards were this way geeky thing computer nerds used to talk to each other without really having to talk to each other. I think the one I liked was run by someone who called himself “Bill the cat.” They allowed multiple nerds to congregate in one place and share inane facts about their lives via computer. (This may sound familiar.)
Then along came the worldwide web and killed all the bulletin boards.
Then along came Mark Zuckerberg, who stole an idea from his college friends that those college friends stole from old computer nerds: a bulletin board. Except they called it Facebook. And Facebook promptly killed the worldwide web.
Advertisers like Facebook because Facebook knows everything about its users, so whenever you look at an ad, they know who looked and lots of demographic details about the looker. They pay a premium for that shit. Goldman Sachs just paid a premium for a piece of the Facebook action because advertisers are willing to pay a premium to get in on it. And Goldman will still make money on the deal.
Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is great for keeping tabs on friends you couldn’t otherwise be bothered to spend time with. It’s a stalker’s dream come true. It would be easier to navigate if the posts were organized by topic. But then again, the only two real topics are: “feel sorry for me because my life sucks;" or "be jealous of me because my life is better than yours."