Bit of a silly article from The Times:

Facebook suicide: the end of a virtual life

Can online friendships ruin real-life relationships? Some users of a very popular social networking site believe so – and that’s why they’re taking drastic action, says Emma Justice

Stephanie Painter’s death was swift and painless. At 9.10pm on February 11 she bid her 121 Facebook friends goodbye with one last “poke” (mood: sorrowful), then left the virtual world peacefully with a quick click of the mouse.

“It was hard to kill the profile I’d spent so long creating, but I felt it was the only way out,” says Stephanie, 27, a PA from Fulham, West London. “Facebook was damaging my relationship with my boyfriend to such an extent that if I hadn’t done it we wouldn’t be together now.” For Painter found that what had seemed like an innocent way of reconnecting with old friends and colleagues had opened a huge can of worms.

“Within a couple of months a number of ex-partners and people that I’d had random flings with were asking to be my “friend” in Facebook. I didn’t feel I could decline them and I admit I was intrigued by what they were up to,” she says. “But not only did that ignite unwanted feelings in me, it also made my boyfriend Danny, a 28-year-old TV producer, incredibly insecure. As one of my friends, he could view my profile page, my friends’ list and my ‘wall’ (an area on which messages are posted).

“Reading my ex’s flirty messages, however innocent, made him insanely jealous. He hated the fact that I was in touch with men I’d once slept with and that some of them had posted up old pictures of us together which I had no power to remove. In the end, Facebook was causing so many arguments between us that I decided the best thing would be to log off. As soon as my Facebook profile died, our relationship improved.”

Yes dear, it’s called power, control and emotional manipulation. Next month he will insist of you deleting your email accounts – in case an old boyfriend gets in touch. By Xmas, say goodbye to your friends and family. He’ll be checking your mobile phone record – or does he take the phone away? Then you’ll be locked in your room while he’s at the office. But hey! That’s love.

Talking of LOVE, Australian media are back in my good books again after our little falling out.

The Australian Financial Review had a much better article than The Times today. They were quite sarcastic about trumped up drama on Facebook called “Fakebook friends”:

Meet my Fakebook friends

This Digital Life; John Davidson

We’re reporting to you this week from the Valley of Tears department here at Digital Life Labs, where we have retreated, mourning and weeping, after reading the devastating news of a study showing that all the new friends we have made on Facebook may not be real friends after all.
He’d make a good snarky bitchy blogger. 😛

Of course my favourite article of the year so far has to be the incredibly well researched, sharp, witty, incisive, intelligent piece in The Australian Weekend Review:

Game on

Peter Lalor | September 15, 2007

THE online worlds in which people play are rapidly reinventing media and entertainment, if not our concept of society, writes Peter Lalor.

DO you remember where you were when Steve Irwin died? SilkCharm will never forget it. She was in IronForge, one of the few remaining dwarven keeps. It is, for those who havenot visited, an expansive underground cityshaped from rock in the mountains of DunMorogh.

IronForge is an ancient and isolated place. The original city dates to the pre-beta version of World of Warcraft. Rebuilt in modern times, the only part of it that remains from the not-so-distant past is the old path from the King’s chambers to the Hall of Thanes.

Which is neither here nor there, really. For in this instance Laurel Papworth, whose avatar is SilkCharm, was guiding her digital personality from the bank to the popular auction house when she was distracted by a message on one of the chat channels guild members were running that day.

Not bad, not bad at all, considering it was written by a traditional journalist, not a Citizen Journalist one (we get CAPITALS), Peter Lalor. Oh and it’ s soooo nice he found a friendly, smart and knowledgeable elf wandering around Azeroth to interview. 😛