Posted by pennybridged
If you have to ask who Kip is, where have you been?
Ok, you might be forgiven for not having the pleasure…. given that Kip isn’t a real person.
For those not in the know, I’m talking about the excellent Facebook episode that those clever people in South Park aired recently. It really was a very clever account of how truly bizarre and obsessional the whole world of social networking can get.
The character of Stan resists and resists until he is forced to give in and do the Facebook thing. His Profile (with a capital P) grows so huge that it takes on a life of its own. He can’t keep up with the constant nudges and winks. His granny gets upset when he’s slow to poke her – Facebook is a strange world and does strange things to people!.
Kyle, on the other hand, is a dab hand at the Facebook. He’s building up his circle of friends and enjoying tending his farm until he commits the most dire of social faux-pas. He friends the uncool Kip Drordy. In the shallow world of social networking, a profile is only as trendy as the profiles its friended. Friending someone from the wrong side of the fence can cause friendlessness as Kyle soon discovers.
Despite the snub from Southpark, good things are in store for Kip in the, er, real world. Kip’s Facebook profile now has a whooping 143,000 friends. You can visit it here. There is something charming about getting almost 7,000 Likes for posting that you’ve just eaten 2.2 cookies. It’s a nice world after all.
The whole episode and the fall out (Kip’s hugely popular profile) asks some very important questions.
What does it mean to be a Friend? What is a Friend? Can one really be friends with 800,000 people, or even a fraction of that? What do social networks mean for people? Why is there such pressure to connect with others through an online medium, even those we see face-to-face on a regular basis? What does it mean and how does it feel to be un-friended? Why has Farmville become such a huge hit on Facebook? Are there genuine people to be found on the highly controversial chatroulette? How many Kip Drordys are out there suffering and struggling the indignity of being shunned for not fitting with the norms of whatever society they find themselves in?
Kip Drordy – what have you done for a Kip Drordy today?