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A while back we heard about MySpace population being larger than some nations. Now as the Economist reports, Facebook is the largest digital community, 3rd only to India and China in membership:

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Facebook has become the third-largest nation

Jul 22nd 2010

THE world’s largest social network announced that it had reached 500m members on Wednesday July 21st. If Facebook were a physical nation, it would now be the third-most populous on earth. And if the service continues to grow as rapidly as in the three months to July, it will reach one billion in about 15 months—almost the size of India. Not least because of its gigantic population, some observers have started to talk of Facebook in terms of a country. “[It] is a device that allows people to get together and control their own destiny, much like our nation-state,” says David Post, a law professor at Temple University, Philadelphia.

“Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld”

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The blogger sits at a random Wendy’s. His girlfriend is ordering food at the counter. The line was long, but it’s his girlfriend’s turn to order now, and she is taking a little longer to collect her thoughts. Why? Because she’s too busy tapping a Facebook reply on her Blackberry.

Twenty minutes ago, the fashionable pair sat at Starbucks. While the girl fields three replies on YM, BBM, and Facebook, the blogger checks Twitter updates on his Blackberry and orders a Venti Mocha Frappuccino. He actually prefers proper hot coffee like a Misto or Latte (depending on the mood) but it’s been a humid day and he needs a large cold drink to share with his girlfriend. The girl ends up never getting a sip–she’s too busy writing an email.

Eleven hours earlier the blogger was just stirring from bed as his pre-programmed alarm was blaring. His first impulse is to check his mobile calendar for the day, his second is read the emails that have accumulated overnight while he slept. He sends his girlfriend a customary good morning buzz via BBM, then proceeds to shower. On the other side of town, his girlfriend receives the buzz, but will only get to read it ten minutes later–only after she checks the US markets close on Bloomberg mobile, and switches her YM on to prep for her clients.

Between morning buzz and Wendy’s, the couple exchange a bewildering amount of chats, emails, replies, and tweets with at least two dozen people over the course of the day. They read news and post insights on a flurry of topics, websites, and bulletin boards. They get random tweets, trivia, and birthday reminders for people they barely knew in person and now only know by a digital avatar. They take and post pictures of themselves, places they’ve been, areas they are planning to visit (eventually–if they put it on their BB calendars).

But the only real words they’ve exchanged to each other that day are countable by hand: hi, what, time, where, are, you, me, ok, now, later, when.

The blogger realizes this only as his girlfriend finishes her order at Wendy’s. He begins by gathering his thoughts on WordPress, while in between burger bites, his girlfriend, is saying hi to a long-lost classmate via YM. The quiet pair, obliviously tapping away, finish their food without any incident–as they’ve always had since the pair have started down the sorry path of crackberry addiction. Their mobile forays tonight only interrupted by the half hour drives home.

Before he goes to sleep, the blogger finds himself staring at his mirror for a brief moment, Blackberry in hand–right before he sends this post to WordPress for public viewing.

Later as he slowly drifts to sleep he manages to adjust his morning alarm a half hour earlier on his Blackberry, and as he slowly drifts into lala-land, he thinks of the irony of it all…

Six hours later he wakes up.
It’s only Tuesday.
The process repeats.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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