Thanks to a ruling from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper, allowing a Brooklyn nurse to deliver her elusive husband a divorce summons via Facebook, the world’s most ubiquitous social network just added a new feather in its cap of dubious achievements: civil process server.
Your virtual presence is now legally the same as your physical one.
Frightening precedents aside, the above case isn’t even close to the first time Zuckerberg’s time vampire has been used as a legal vessel. Hell, in England, it’s been okay to Facebook court docs since 2012.
If you’re getting a divorce, why are you even still on there, anyway?
Say your significant other goes to bed early, leaving you to sit up, toss back a couple cold ones, and surf the Interweb. You invariably find yourself spiraling down a social media rabbit hole, and, in a fit of fleeting digital debauchery, poke the profile of an ex or sexy workmate. The next day you’re busted, and you find yourself confronted by an irate now soon-to-be ex, suddenly a victim of the staggering 66% of people who have Facebook info thrown in their face during a divorce proceeding.
As if worrying about digital flirting isn’t bad enough, studies find that thanks to social media and the meticulously edited versions of ourselves most people spend so much time curating, we’re now worrying about exactly everything, especially where we measure up in the grand pissing contest of humblebrag-laden lifestyle porn that filters through our feeds. The constant barrage of awesomeness we’re subjected to is breaking down any sort of hopes for a realistically happy existence – if your day-to-day doesn’t look like you’re living that Kim K lifestyle, you’re blowing it, so good luck coercing a new mate to sign up.
Not that you’ll have any friends to seduce after for long anyway.
How many times have people “Facebooked” you instead of calling or texting? That same method of communication that can now serve people legal notice is becoming standard fare for regular interactions. Even though Facebook’s messenger requires a cumbersome second app, it’s up to 600 million users, which means you’d best respond in a timely fashion if you want to have any shot at staying in the dating - or marriage - game.
Plus, you’ll soon be able to make payments from your Facebook account, because you needed another way to impulse shop and expose yourself to online fraud.
As a testament to the inefficient nature of Facebook Messenger, consider the truly bizarre case of the woman who was notified of her missing son’s death via the platform, from an alias account controlled by her local police department, only to receive the note two months and a whole lot of heartbreak, and searching in vain, later.
Wait, I should have said “friends.”
Who the hell even are all these people? The average human has 338 friends on Facebook, which is a pretty staggering number, really. Especially when you consider that, while our virtual relationships with at-best casual aquatintances run rampant, the number of “real” friends we have are dwindling. According to a sociologist at Cornell University, as of 2011 the average adult has 2.03 close buds, down from 3 in 1985. The odds, my friend, are against your When Harry Met Sally fantasy coming to fruition. Hello, spinsterhood!
But let's be real, shall we?
Do you really need access to that much of an audience all the time? Whether you’re attention starved and oversharing for attention like a beaten Labrador desperately licking its owner’s clenched fist or simply prone to the occasional drunken rant or thoughtless post, it’s way too easy to self-sabotage your way into the world of Facebook fails, let alone blow that job interview or first impression. Life is about to become one big missed connection.
Face it: We have, as a culture, reached peak social media. I’m not the first to say this. I won’t be the last. But as the singularity looms large over us, slowly conscripting us into its Matrix-like dystopian digital hive (without the bullet dodging bonuses), it’s all the more important to recognize that even as we create our own realities, we should make damn sure they’re actually real.
Just remember, in 20 years when we’re all cursing the big brother Facebook bogeyman who is staring into our every nook and cranny, we only have ourselves to blame. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go accept some friend requests.