Manifest Destiny, Facebook Style

Detractors at Columbia cannot succeed in halting the spread of thefacebook.com

Now that Harvard’s answer to Friendster—thefacebook.com—has begun to spread its influence beyond the wrought-iron gates of Harvard Yard to Stanford, Yale, Columbia and other accredited colleges, the unenlightened masses enrolled at these “peer” institutions are beginning to catch on to the College’s online craze. But progress always has its detractors. Students at Columbia renounced the spread of thefacebook.com earlier this week, saying they were “pretty annoyed” and threatening to “Google Bomb” the Harvard website into e-blivion. Tough words, baby blue. In the face of such ignorant pleas to remain socially backward, Harvard’s cohorts of facebook devotees should press on. Such is the Harvard student’s burden.

Harvard students have a duty to help those at lesser schools—like Columbia and Yale—break free from social life in the social slow lane and bring them up to speed on the superhighway of cool. Clubs, bars, movies, moving—all passé, bona fide faux pas in 21st-century etiquette. It seems as though everyone has forgotten what it means to “have fun.” While students at Dartmouth, Columbia, even Yale (if one can even call them students) drink beer and frequent parties, we ask of them: have you ever confirmed a friend? Have you ever visualized your friend network? Have you ever been poked?

We suspect that, sadly, the answer to most of these questions will be no. Such blinding ignorance of the ways of the world is unacceptable, and thus it comes down to the Harvard student—that noble specimen of undergraduate—to spread this superior brand of social interaction. Let us free the Columbia Lions, the Yale Puppies, the Dartmouth Green and the Stanford Cardinal.

Let all overachievers feel the uncanny rush as they approach triple digits on their friend lists, of getting those three crucial acceptances to edge just past their roommates’ totals, of electronically cataloging their friends from different schools—which is really awesome. Let everyone know what it feels like to have a crush, already know her favorite movie, where she last logged in from, what classes she has tomorrow and then follow her around and, finally, release all that tension—by poking her. Will she poke back? Oh, the mystery.

This beacon of light from a website upon a hill shall free all other universities, just as we too have been freed, from partying, drinking and going out.

Life at Harvard has never been better since Feb. 4, 2004, when thefacebook.com started up. To site creator Mark E. Zuckerberg ’06, we are indebted. No longer does any Harvard student wake up with the sinking feeling that he has no friends. No, he logs on, and knows he has 14. It feels so good—so, so good.