Facebook - A woman here has contracted what scientist are calling "a new kind of virus we can make money off of", after excessive and uprotected "poking" of friends on her Facebook account.
Mellisa Darin had gained the reputation of "not caring who she poked" on Facebook.
"She pokes me at least five times a day," said Zachariah Stone, 40. "Of course, I poke her back. Who wouldn't? It's flattering, for sure. But you have to wonder who else she's poking."
Stone says that when you poke someone, you're poking everyone they have ever poked. "It's kind of disturbing when you stop and think about it," Stone says. "I don't know who her so-called friends are. I have no idea where they have been and who they're poking. It's kind of scary, really."
"We figured this would happen," reports Phil Meyer, a social scientist at Yale University. "We've been studying Facebook Poking for years and figured nothing good could come from it. It serves no purpose, but apparently feels good."
Meyer, who calls the virus "Expose," or EXcessive Poking Online Syndrome" with an "e" on the end so it would spell something, says the virus is becoming a real problem among those who engage in illicit poking.
"The virus can crash your computer, sure," says Meyer. "But the worst part is that the poker can expose the pokee to the same virus. This can cause Facebook's fire wall to crumble, exposing the network to attacks from other viruses that would otherwise be harmless."
Meyer claims that Darin started it all, and that she was to blame if Facebook had to go offline, thus taking away the only interesting part of millions of people's lives.
"People are generally pathetic, lifeless folks," says Meyer. "They need Facebook in order to show off all the friends they make whom they've never met and never really talk to. If Facebook goes offline due to the "Expose" virus, how will people share uninteresting links and make profound comments that are "liked" by others but are soon forgotten? I don't think this woman is considering other people's needs."
Stone says, despite being "a lonely loser" the fear of contracting "Expose" just isn't worth the risk. "They have to find a way to make cyber-space finger condoms, or something," says Stone. "Either that, or people need to stop this orgy of poking anyone, anywhere at anytime without regard to where their online finger has been."
Darin, however, has stated that she will poke anyone she damn-well pleases. "I'll poke anyone I damn-well please!"
See. We told you that's what she said.
Meyer says that if anyone wants to avoid exposure to the "Expose" virus then they should either not poke back, or block the poker altogether.
"The problem is," says Meyer, "this is the only time some of these people get to poke anyone. So it's not going to be an easy task to put a lid on this."