Most online users are familiar with the dangers of the ‘Social Media Time Suck’. You go on Facebook with the intention of browsing casually through your newsfeed as a short study break, and next thing you know you’re stalking your ex’s girlfriend’s mother’s wedding pictures and two hours have flown by.
But no need to fear, because a new online phenomenon is here to drag you even deeper into the time warp – fake Facebook events.
Although at first they appeared sparsely throughout my newsfeed, as friends and family began attending the events, and even inviting me to them, I found myself caving into their appeal as well. But why? How did the trend begin and why are these events attracting thousands of attendees worldwide?
Sophomore Camila Novo-Viano said that she expressed an interest in these events because of their laugh-out-loud humor.
“I first attended a few of these fake events because I liked the jokes and puns and I thought it’d be funny when ‘Camila Viano is attending insert ridiculous event here’ would randomly show up on my friends’ news feeds,” she said.
The events are not only amusing because of their titles, but oftentimes social-media users will post polls, comments or videos related to the activity of the event.
“Become and actual potato,” an event that has attracted over 29,000 attendees, includes various polls such as “What is ur favorite thing to do as a potato?” Options include potate, hotline bling, convert non-potato infidels, fry and chill, and fly around your room.
Resigning or expressing desperation about finals or school-related stress is a common theme among the events. General sadness or loneliness, especially doing things alone, also seems to be a recurring theme.
Some students have acknowledged that there could be some truth to these jests.
“I think people are genuinely stressed about school, and these fake Facebook events are a way of just decompressing,” freshman Kobi Tsesarsky said.
Sophomore Molly Plissner expanded on the use of the events as a way to transmit real feelings.
“It’s easier than posting a status because you’re not embarrassed, since it’s not as personal as posting it privately,” Plissner said.
Although many of the events may serve a positive purpose in allowing people to publicize their emotions and identify with the greater online community, some students have recognized that there are limitations to this form of comic relief.
“If this is a platform that people are actually using to deal with actual issues, then they shouldn’t make fake Facebook groups to fix their problems, because it won’t,” Tsesarsky said.
The events also highlight the superficiality of social media, where people can potentially create fake Facebook events while deceiving others into thinking they are real.
Nonetheless, so long as the fad continues to be taken lightly, we can continue to appreciate it as a valuable addition to one of our many options for procrastination.
Check out some of the trending events below, and if you’re feeling bold enough, you can even create your own.