A new trend is currently making its way through the various groups and communities that make up the world of Facebook, and they are the lists. Not just any type of lists, but the “25 Random Things”-kind, which basically give users the possibility to fill them out with 25 things they assume people in their social network of friends do not know about.

This naturally comes along with the demand to send the list forward to yet other users, which then have to fill it out and pass it on. There are many aspects to consider about this issue, because, even though some say that the practice is annoying, others argue that it helps them find out a lot more things about their friends, and therefore creates a feeling of belonging.

The psychological aspect of the matter is perhaps the most important. Experts maintain that the Internet, in itself, is a very lonely place, and that social networks, no matter how much people they incorporate and regardless of how hard they try to get more and more individuals to communicate, will still be a lousy surrogate for real life. That's why lists such as the “25 Things” one are so popular – they offer people a chance to get to know a little more about the person from another country they spend all day chatting with and so on.

I think the Internet gives us a superficial way to know other people. Doing things like this 25 Things note allows us to go a little bit deeper, because we do search for a deeper relationship interpersonally. Here are just a few of the group invites that have sprung up against this phenomenon:

“Tired of being tagged in 25 random things over and over again, wasting valuable time reading about your friends' unusual habits that would better be left unknown? Make a stand and show your support against this phenomenon sweeping all of Facebook.”

“Hey, you're a great person, and I'm glad we're friends, but the fact that you love to eat Chinese food with your left hand in San Diego during August just isn't that high up on my 'things I really need to know' list.”

“Join us as we protest mindless repetition and conformation to the mass mailing ways of our society!”

These is only a small number of the messages that attempt to stop the mindless spreading of such useless and repetitive lists throughout the site. There's no way of knowing if the people opposing these forms of befriending will be able to avoid the effects of these lists, as the “tag” function makes it easier for persons using the lists to nominate those against it in their “25 Things.”

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