First, people had face-to-face drunk conversations. Then, drunk phone calls. Drunk e-mailing followed suit, with drunk texting trailing not far behind. And most recently, the worst of all has arrived: drunk social networking.
“There’s been a few times when I log into Facebook in the morning and I’m like, ‘Crap, did I really do that?’” said a College sophomore who wished to remain anonymous because he’s underage. “But when you’re drunk, you feel like everyone should know.”
These sloshed status updates and tipsy tweets that haunt college students’ newsfeeds each weekend are the reason behind web-security firm Webroot’s newest product: The Social Media Sobriety Test.
The free Firefox plugin was released earlier this month with the slogan, “Nothing good happens online after 1 a.m.” Users of the plugin are able to personalize their social media page of choice, be it Facebook, Twitter or Flickr, to implement a cyber-sobriety test during the hours of the day that they are most likely to have enjoyed a few too many cocktails. Successful completion of a test, which includes dragging the mouse in a straight line or keeping the cursor in a moving circle, will allow access to the page.
I have only one problem with the Social Media Sobriety Test: the fact that it exists (and yes, it actually does).
Sure, it’s hilarious and innovative and probably extremely handy for some of the more foggy Facebookers out there, but I find the plugin to be more of a sad commentary on our lives than a “genius” invention, as one commenter on TIME Magazine’s website said.
The development of technology has communicative benefits. But just as human evolution has its downsides — the lowering of our larynx has allowed us better pronunciation but also makes us more likely to choke — so does technological evolution.
A spokesperson for Webroot told the Daily Mail, “Webroot is about protecting people online from cybercriminals. But let’s face it, sometimes online security also means protecting you from yourself.”
What have we come to that a self-proclaimed “leader in Internet security” has focused its efforts on saving us from our drunken selves? And why do we feel so compelled to update others about our lives, even when we’re not completely there?
“I think that people set these really incoherent things as their statuses because they’re caught in the moment and aren’t really thinking about what they’re doing,” College freshman Chelsea Goldinger said. “They’re thinking that they’re cool and drunk and want to share that.”
Drinking’s effects are now not so much about doing stupid things in front of your group of friends, but instead doing stupid things in front of your 1,000-plus “friends” on the web.
And apparently, this has become such an epidemic that a web-security company is more concerned with our drunken tweets than with protecting consumers from viruses that could potentially crash Facebook. That’s sad.
Unfortunately, being drunk isn’t the only time we decide to network. A study by tech website Retrevo Gadgetology concluded that 48 percent of social media users update their Facebook first thing in the morning, and 49 percent of users under 25 believe it’s okay to text or Facebook during dinner.
We’re now able to constantly update and/or stalk our family and friends, something that’s good especially for college students trying to stay in touch with others. But the problem is that we feel compelled to constantly update — no matter our mental state.
The Social Media Sobriety Test is more than just some silly new plugin. It’s an indication that we have taken things too far. It’s pathetic that we feel the pressure to constantly update others, especially when we’re inebriated. As entertaining as the morning-after newsfeed update might be, friends, please don’t let your friends drink and tweet.Comments powered by Disqus
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