Monday, October 24, 2011

Metro charity’s donors too busy being Facebook friends to eat, sleep, pee

New Facebook page "driving the city mad"
Public health authorities are warning the public to be careful not to become addicted to the new Facebook page created last week by the Metro Community Trust, one of the largest charities in the City. The Facebook page is so powerful and addictive that some of the charity’s donors have begun to stop eating, sleeping or going to the bathroom.

“Local hospitals and 911 emergency services have been flooded by calls from donors to the Metro Community Trust,” said Dr. Toney Snidely, Director of Metro Public Health. “In all cases, they have become fixated on the Trust’s new Facebook page and withdraw from the rest of the world. They stop eating, drinking, washing and even going to the bathroom. It’s terrible.”

More than 113 people have so far been hospitalized by the mesmerizing Facebook page which was unveiled in an email to the Trust’s 12,000 donors last week. Authorities are worried that many more donors will succumb to the hypnotizing power of the Facebook page and its content.

“We have police officers, fireman and volunteers going door-to-door this morning in neighbourhoods where many of the donors live. Already, they have saved at least 17 people. We won’t stop until all the donors are safe,” said Metro Mayor Dibble Turdle during a news conference at City Hall.

Authorities noticed something was amiss when the daughter of one donor came home to find her mother at the computer reading the two dozen odd posts from the Trust’s Facebook page again and again. According to police, the woman kept sharing the Trust’s seven pictures on her own social media sites and then slumped over the computer unconscious. The woman hadn’t eaten, slept or washed for nearly 24 hours. She did make a $17.00 donation.

“Whatever content the Trust put up on the Facebook page is obviously too much. The stories about their upcoming fundraising dinner, the note from the CEO about gift planning and the out of focus pictures of the donation by the Rotary Club just made people go crazy,” said Police Chief Turney Vorhees. “People need to stop going to that Facebook site right now. It’s too dangerous.”

Experts agree that the use of Facebook by non-profit organizations can create powerful forces that interfere with normal cognition. “Research shows that non-profit Facebook pages act like cocaine on the brain. They shut down the centres that control all the higher functions and instantly addict them to the non-profit’s message, no matter how boring or out of date it is,” said Dr. Snidely.

One victim, Frewer Anick, 67, a donor who lives on East Street, said the effect of opening the Trust’s Facebook page was overwhelming. “Suddenly, I found myself completely connected to everything they were saying. Nothing else mattered. I had to read those tepid, badly written posts over and over. I was totally hooked. I only stopped because there was a power outage in my neighbourhood. That’s what saved me,” he said.

Mayor Turdle is urging all non-profits to use extreme caution on their Facebook pages until the emergency passes. “These charities need to realize that their social media is driving the City mad. They’re playing with dynamite and they have to stop.”

Trust spokesperson Cybil Dribble said they were unaware of the disaster since the charity doesn’t allow their own employees to access social media at work.