The Online Community

We’re always hearing about the evils of online predators, chat-rooms, and generalized strangers on the internet. I’d have to agree with the general message: it can be bad to give out too much information online. However, just to play devil’s advocate (and give you all a break from the healthcare debate) I’d like to share a heartwarming Facebook story.

On Facebook, there are different games that you can play, and one of them is called Sorority Life. The essential premise of the game is to be the backstabbing evil popular girl that you couldn’t have been/aren’t in school. You collect “friends” to become rich and popular. The way you collect these friends is to friend them, and then  invite them to your Sorority.

The problem is that they must be your friend to join your sorority house, and because most people don’t have loads of real life friends who want to play Sorority Life, they invite random people who they know play the game. This is not unusual, this is the norm. People post their email addresses in the game so that other people can add them as friends. I became rather concerned with this, being as the incentive was to allow random strangers to have access to your Facebook, and wrote the makers a letter. The conversation went like this…

Hello,

I was wondering if you had considered the danger of giving children the incentive to add as many strangers as possible to their friends lists, giving them complete access to their information, simply in order to add them to their sororities. You should consider rethinking the way people gain house members.

Hey there,

Thanks for the feedback. The application is still relatively new, so I am still in the process of adding new content and features. I appreciate your concern for the game and for contacting me with your thoughts.

So….yeah. Not too much progress.

But recently, I’ve had reason to wonder whether the system is really all that bad. Last Friday, the body of a missing 4 year old was found in a septic tank.

His mother plays sorority life. In a matter of hours, many of the characters were wearing black, and the mother had been been voted as best dressed. Her sorority life wall was filled with prayers. This was possible due to the nature of the game. Now of course, there are also people on the game who try to give you viruses when you add them, and people who would probably like to hurt you….but it would seem that most people are good. 🙂

My Usual and Mourning Sorority Life Avatars

My usual and “mourning” avatars on the game.

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