In a shocking announcement sending the industry into a tailspin, two researchers at Princeton have predicted the demise of Facebook within three years, using an epidemiological model. (For those of you who have no idea what the word "epidemiological" means, just keep reading. The only thing that matters is that you leave a positive comment at the end.)
According to the researchers, the growth of Facebook can be compared to the growth curve of a "disease", which spreads infectiously on a large-scale among people, and ultimately dies out. The researchers said that "epidemiological models" have successfully described the `vast spread and eventual fade out' phenomena underlying both 'ideas' and 'diseases'.
To elaborate their point, the researchers asserted that "communicative contact" helps spread ideas between different people who share ideas with one another; and added that 'idea manifesters' ultimate loss of interest with the idea and its slackened manifestation can be considered "the gain of 'immunity' to the idea." (For a translation of this sentence, send a blank check to "Life in the Boomer Lane.")
The Princeton researchers have based their prediction of Facebook's ultimate "die out" on the number of times Internet users type the term 'Facebook''into Google as a search item. Pointing out that Facebook is losing its attraction among users, the researchers said that nearly 80 percent of the Facebook users -- which currently total up to 1.2 billion -- will likely quit the social network by 2017.
At risk are all body parts associated with Facebook, specifically the thumbs up that most Facebookers casually toss out, whether responding to a photo of a baby, a rutabaga, or the announcement that the poster has contracted a terminal illness. "We expect a lot of Facebook members to be losing thumbs within the next couple years, as the disease ramps up." The researchers left no doubt that thumbs were the tip of the iceberg.
As expected, the announcement caught the attention of numerous media organizations and quickly went viral (Note to readers: the word viral referred to in this sentence is a good thing, not a bad thing like the other kinds of viruses, which are really icky and can cause blood coming out of your eyeballs and stuff like that), and it wasn't long before Facebook took notice.
Facebook, using all of its intellectual might, then searched Google for the number of hits "Princeton" got and the number of "Likes" Princeton got on its Facebook page. Based on that, Facebook declared that Princeton would be out of business in three years. Parents of high school seniors throughout the country have started a campaign to force all colleges and universities to now publicly post the number of search engine hits they get, as well as the number of Facebook Likes they get. "Our children are a national treasure," one parent said. "They deserve the best education that exists, and this is the way to assure it."
Ordinary Facebook users have been caught in the crossfire. Postings of babies and cats have gone down precipitously in the last few days, as posters fear that the virus will spread to photos. Pediatricians and vets have fielded numerous phone calls regarding the announcement and are now advising Facebookers that if they must continue posting photos of their children and pets, they should have them wear surgical masks before they take the photo.
On the plus side, comments have more than tripled on inspirational postings. One recent post, "We are only as strong as we believe ourselves to be," generated thousands of thumbs up and comments. Most people thanked the poster and declared that her words had changed their outlook on life. Another posting, "Life occurs anew each day. What can you do to make today your best day ever?" generated a similar response.
On the political front, Republicans have accused the Obama administration of using Princeton, a "bastion of religion-hating and morals-hating liberals" to spread its fear-mongering tactics and discourage true Americans from communication with each other. Dems, not to be outdone, accused Republicans of using Facebook to cut taxes for the rich. The American Society of Cute Pets accused both parties of not caring enough about ferrets.
Predictions have not yet been made about how this will impact on the 2016 run for the White House.