By Tress Klassen
Somewhere out there, someday soon, a baby named Megatron will lay awake in his crib, cursing Facebook and the power of social media.
The creativity of Facebook groups has expanded enormously, and these virtual groups often have surprising, real-life effects.
Log in to Facebook and search for Megatron; you’ll stumble upon this piece of Facebook gold: “MY SISTER SAID IF I GET ONE MILLION FANS SHE WILL NAME HER BABY MEGATRON” (who loves caps lock?).
It took only 13 days to reach the one million mark.
We’ll never know if this baby really does exist, or if he (according to the page, it’s a boy) is named Megatron. But it’s the possibility, the idea that you actually helped put into motion what will surely be the most epic life ever — because come on, can you imagine being named Megatron?
That’s the allure of these groups. By clicking a button, you’re suddenly a part of something; you’re changing a life; you’re joining a movement.
And speaking of movements, a powerful revolution swept across Facebook recently, all in support of a pickle. Created on February 3, the page, “Can this pickle get more fans than Nickleback?” (spelled incorrectly to avoid copyright issues), garnered support from all corners of the Internet.
In just 16 days, the pickle had more fans than Nickelback; by February 24, the pickle had 1,487,000 fans, surpassing Nickelback’s 1,423,000 Facebook supporters, which the group had accumulated over almost two years.
But these fan pages can do more than just damage musicians’ self-esteems, and can have effects outside the virtual world. Last Christmas, a fan page formed to help Rage Against the Machine’s 1992 hit “Killing in the Name” beat X Factor-winner Joe McElderry’s “The Climb” in a battle for the U.K.’s number one Christmas single. Tim Morello, Rage Against the Machine’s guitarist, voiced his support for the page, while Simon Cowell condemned the group.
The power of Facebook prevailed, and for the first time in five years X Factor was vanquished. Facebook groups may often be juvenile, and even pointless: “What the hell, i wanted an orange popsicle” (created by Syracuse’s very own Kaitlin Maloney), or “I rode my goat to school this morning” (for “those of us who have a goat, had a goat, and wish we had a goat”).
But now and then a lone group stands out from the masses, and sometimes these pages can do more than entertain — sometimes, Facebook can change lives, name babies, insult Simon Cowell, and, of course, support pickles.
Tress Klassen works as the opinions Web editor at The Student Voice. She is a freshman magazine major at SU.