Farming Facebook


It’s a Friday night and I’m ready to go out with my roommate to engage in the typical activities of an Allegheny student. Farmville has taken over students' free time. | Farmville has taken over students' free time.

I’ve spent an hour prepping and I know that tonight is the night that I will finally be crowned champion of Apples to Apples. My mind is keen and I am ready to beat the usual crazed rush to rent Monopoly from the game room, if only Hannah would hurry up.

To my dismay, Hannah is glued to her computer screen.

“Hold on,” she says, “I have to wax the shell of my turtle so that he will fetch a greater market price.”

“Hannah,” I say patiently, “you do not have a turtle and furthermore they would not sell animals so prone to disease at a place like the Market House, which is frequented by the elderly and dying population of Meadville.”

I might as well be talking to my tower of Ramen noodles: Hannah is completely immersed in the wonders of Happy Fishville or some other equally stupid Facebook application.

What is this craze that is sweeping the nation? If I mention something normal, such as the healthcare bill or my environmental science class, I am likely to be met with a glazed expression. But one mention of “Farmville” and complete strangers are spilling stories of waking up at five in the morning to plow pixilated fields or the agony of deciding to sell a beloved virtual pony.

Whereas my normal charismatic method of speaking mysteriously tends to put people to sleep, a panicked “uhhhhhhhhhh” is all the encouragement they need from me to go into elaborate detail about their lives in Farmville as they think that I am a kindred, farming spirit.

Exhibit A: The other day, I wandered into the room of one of my good friends who was deep in discussion with her roommate.

“I was mad at my mom for not talking to me all week but then she sent me some really cool trees on Farmville, she is the best mother ever! My plot is so nicely landscaped now.”

Her roommate nodded, saying that her boyfriend couldn’t get over what a great farmer she was.

Recounting this bizarre conversation with my own roommate, I told her that our friend’s boyfriend earnestly complimenting her farming was possibly the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard.

“Shut up, Kiley,” Hannah said vaguely, “I need to get a higher score than my boyfriend on Happy Aquarium, I will talk to you after I train a few more fish. By the way, these jellyfish are absolutely useless, I can’t believe I bought them.”

I don’t know if you have ever owned a fish, but they really aren’t that interesting. They essentially swim around aimlessly and eat tiny little flakes of food and occasionally each other.

What makes these virtual fish so interesting that my scary, rugby–playing roommate can stare at them for hours? Why are people appalled at the idea of waking up early to watch the sunrise or a meteor shower when they set alarms to wake up and feed four-centimeter ponies?

I consulted my 89–year–old Chinese grandfather in hopes that wisdom would spill from his sage–like lips.

“You don’t make sense,” he told me.

I pondered this for a few days and eventually came to the conclusion that I must have gone insane.

And so I get to the main point of this article, which is a sincere apology to all of the Facebook addicts, who I must have wrongly accused living in a world of virtual flowers and baby blue whales and friends, that I may have offended in the past.