The social networking giant has expressed concern at the number of members who are spending long periods off the site getting on with their lives, and reminds them that their absence is being recorded and will become subject to penalties. As temperatures soar and people head outdoors, there has been a “worrying slowdown”, as one insider put it, in the torrent of pointless trivia being posted by people on their profiles. Company strategists are exploring ways of measuring the time people spend logged off the site and punishing them accordingly.
“It's an exciting time to be alive”, said Facebook executive Mark Blaine, “you can be painting your wall with one hand and telling a billion people about it on your smartphone with the other. Our parents never had these advantages. There's just no excuse to be staying away from Facebook anymore”.
However, he assured people that there's no question of his company “hounding” anybody. “That would go against everything Facebook believes in”, he said. “For instance, any user who passes away will be exempted from all financial penalties on production of a death certificate by their family”.
Mr Blaine admits there's now a major push on all levels to make people see the light and embrace the future the Facebook way.
"Unfortunately there's an awkward cohort of people in society, mostly in the 40 to 65 age group, who have a 'take it or leave it' attitude to the social networking revolution", he complains, "and, well, let's just say we're urging them to smarten up and co-operate, especially considering the amount of information we Internet companies have on them”.
“Let's just take one example”, Mr Blaine continues, “there's a 46-year-old gentleman in Laurel Drive, Notting Hill, who's often away from his Facebook page for ten or twelve hours at a time – not good. Maybe he's busy helping his wife around the house, you might say. But then, seeing as he downloads an average of 2.3 gigabytes of porn each week, I doubt if he spends much time with his wife, if you know what I mean”.