Facebook appeals to a kind of vanity and self-importance in us, too.
If I put up a flattering picture of myself with a list of my favourite things, I can construct an artificial representation of who I am in order to get sex or approval. "I got a shag out of it.") It also encourages a disturbing competitivness around friendship: it seems that with friends today, quality counts for nothing and quantity is king. You are "popular", in the sense much loved in American high schools.
Witness the cover line on Dennis Publishing's new Facebook magazine: "How To Double Your Friends List." It seems, though, that I am very much alone in my hostility.
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That's 59 million suckers, all of whom have volunteered their ID card information and consumer preferences to an American business they know nothing about. At the present rate of growth, Facebook will have more than 200 million active users by this time next year.
And I would predict that, if anything, its rate of growth will accelerate over the coming months. Facebook is a well-funded project, and the people behind the funding, a group of Silicon Valley venture capitalists, have a clearly thought out ideology that they are hoping to spread around the world. Like Pay Pal before it, it is a social experiment, an expression of a particular kind of neoconservative libertarianism.
As its spokesman Chris Hughes says: "It's embedded itself to an extent where it's hard to get rid of." All of the above would have been enough to make me reject Facebook for ever. On Facebook, you can be free to be who you want to be, as long as you don't mind being bombarded by adverts for the world's biggest brands.
As with Pay Pal, national boundaries are a thing of the past.
Although the project was initially conceived by media cover star Mark Zuckerberg, the real face behind Facebook is the 40-year-old Silicon Valley venture capitalist and futurist philosopher Peter Thiel.
There are only three board members on Facebook, and they are Thiel, Zuckerberg and a third investor called Jim Breyer from a venture capital firm called Accel Partners (more on him later).
Thiel invested 0,000 in Facebook when Harvard students Zuckerberg, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskowitz went to meet him in San Francisco in June 2004, soon after they had launched the site.
Thiel now reportedly owns 7% of Facebook, which, at Facebook's current valuation of bn, would be worth more than bn.
The secret to a perfectly cooked beef stir-fry is placing the steak in the freezer before slicing it.
That way, the meat will become nice and firm, allowing you to cut the meat into thin, even slices with ease.
This hearty sauce is best served over a short pasta with lots of nooks and crannies it can tuck into and cling to.