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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Facebook and Pokey! (A Glorified Tamagotchi)



I recently rediscovered the beauty of Facebook, as it helped fulfill my dream...

...Of getting my own pet dog.

I had initially been resistant to creating my own Facebook profile when Facebook first launched for public use, because I had Friendster and Multiply then, and I thought they were enough. But when my fiancĂ© and I got to try the Facebook apps, with all the pokes and hugs, I believed I found the “mother lode” of social networking, finally.

But when my friends started to join, and found me, and also discovered a myriad of apps and bombarded me with them, I decided I’ve had enough of Facebook and dropped the Social Networking service in question.

The reason? The very system of Facebook allows it to exploit the applications and maximize its advertising potentials and bombard the users with updates and emails, thereby cluttering users’ profiles and activity feeds, and even third-party email inboxes. In an age where spam allergy is an epidemic, I believe that this system, which was the heart of why Facebook decided to go public, turned some of its users off to the service.

But recently, as I said, Facebook helped answer my prayers of having a dog to take care of, with lots of added benefits.

A couple of weeks ago, I wanted a dog so badly, and I found one for only about $15 (Php 500)! I was so ecstatic, because I had wanted a dog for so long, but my landlord won’t let me keep it. And despite my disappointment, I felt like it was a load off my shoulders, because I was already starting to worry about the poop, the pee and the food, even before being able to fully claim the doggie and “install” it in my house.

But through Facebook’s Pokey! (third-party) application, I was able to adopt an adorable choco labrador retriever puppy, and he...

Doesn’t poop.

Or pee.

With Pokey, you can adopt a pet, feed it, give it water, even throw bones and frisbees at it! The only side of Pokey that I didn’t like all that much was the fact that it would show a sad face if you didn’t feed it. I find that function both a good and bad thing: it’s a good thing because you can tell that you’ve been remiss with your pet, but a bad thing also because the facial expression is so... Expressive, that you can’t help empathizing with your Pokey! pet and his heart-wrenching sad face begging for some virtual food.

On the whole, Pokey! is like a super-advanced Tamagotchi (if you still remember that); it gives you an added responsibility, but it also gives you your much-needed dose of pet love, sans the poop. It’s so cool, it revived the love of Facebook for me. :)

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