To Poke or Not to Poke

Nov 29, 2008 at 6:47 pm

His name has been altered to protect his identity.

D. Cross was just like any ordinary man with an online profile. He uploaded pictures of his spring break trip to Panama City, complete with tags of his new found friends that he met while intoxicated with the sweet sin of Homo sapien love. His friend count started to rise every day, getting poked left and right from people that live in his city and people that went to the same graduate school. D. Cross was on top of the internet social networking world! —- He had 1,250 Zombie Comps and at least four of his Thanksgiving Eggs were hatching. Then tragedy struck the Cross household. The Internet bill was due and since D. had spent all his time updating "What are you doing right now?" he forgot to go to work and receive his monthly wages. His job was lost, his bills were due and, most importantly, there was no way of updating his status to his 375 "friends" about his struggles. Days went by before D. finally got the motivation to get off the couch and go to the library to check his Facebook status…

As he accepted the terms and conditions and agreed to the 15-minute time limit he immediately went to Facebook. As the page loaded his face went white and he noticed that his friend count had dropped from 375 to 12 in only a matter of days. Everyone from old high school friends to people he met once at a bar in Oregon had dropped him as a friend. D. Cross fell to his knees and started to wail as tears fell to the carpet at the Library's main branch. When D. came to his 15 minutes had been up, on the computer and in the cruel world of internet social networks. D. pulled himself to his feet and wiped the tears off his cheeks. Anger surged through his bugling muscles as he pushed over an old lady at an adjacent computer station and took over her internet session. With 13 minutes left he started to investigate why his "friends" had abandoned him during his time of need. As Facebook reloaded Mr. Cross was down to a mere seven friends.

Things were looking bad for D. and it seemed that even his so-called "friends" had bailed on him. D. even received an e-mail from Friendster which read, "Dear, Mr. Cross, due to the overwhelming complaints we have received from other social networking Web sites about your lack of dedication to social networking, we are sorry to inform you that your profile has been terminated from We are truly sorry. Please try Virb." D. couldn't believe it, he hadn't logged onto Friendster in at least six years. To add to the blows coming in that day, Myspace informed D. that Tom had taken back his automatic friendship.

All of D.'s Events had been erased and he was kicked off of all his fantasy sports teams. I went out on the town to try and find out why D. had been shoved so far to the end of the earth without a care from anyone. I first interviewed a long time friend L. Lewis about why he dumped D. from his friends list. L. said, "Since D. wasn't responding to any of my pokes or messages I decided he was dead and I couldn't have a dead man on my friends list. That just doesn't make sense."

I was convinced there must be someone out there that still believes in D. I knew I would have to dig deep, so I started with someone who was still part of the "Magnificent Seven" friends that were holding strong with D. The logical choice to go with was his brother and roommate B.Cross. B said, "Well, I would have deleted him from my friends list, but ya know, our internet was out." Were all of the "Magnificent Seven" on D.'s friends list just without internet or dead? As my research continued I found out that the final six names on D.'s friends list were Abraham Lincoln (dead), John McCain (doesn't understand internet), Feral Child from Mad Max 2 (no internet), Strom Thurmond (dead), Lindsay Lohan (robot) and the band Dead Mission (dead).

I contacted some of D.'s ex-Facebook friends that were only really online acquaintances to get another side of why D. was being erased from the Internet. Julie Craig said, "Well, D. wouldn't sign any of the arbitrary online petitions I would send him, or comment on the photoshopped pictures I would put up of us together. When someone stops commenting, I stop caring. There was nothing left to do but dump his ass!"

So D., society wants you to know if you are not going to participate in "online fife", you are not worth having in "real life." Even though I feel for Mr. Cross, losing all those friends in his super cool online profile he had worked so hard on for the past three months, I must agree with everyone else. We are nothing without the internet.