A Blacktip Island entrepreneur has developed an antisocial media platform she hopes will ease suppressed tensions among the small Caribbean island’s residents. (photo illustration courtesy of Lobo Studio Hamburg)
A Blacktip Island-based website designer this week launched what she touts as the world’s first antisocial media network to ensure peaceful relations among island residents.
“People on Blacktip are getting along too well face to face,” Sue Nami said. “They’re going out of their way to be nice to each other. That just leads to increased hostility and passive-aggression. People need an outlet for their hostility and negativity if our community’s to function. Now they have a place they can be as nasty as they want to each other.
“With such a small community, people talk about each other behind their backs, then are polite to their face,” Nami said. “We built F-Ubook to combat that. It allows people to slag down others directly, online, and replace passive-aggression with aggressive-aggression, then be genuinely polite in person.”
Local psychologists say the idea is not as far-fetched as it seems.
“Unexpressed, unacknowledged hostility can fester and lead to larger issues long term,” Blacktip Island Psychological Association president Sigmund Skinner said. “In a community as small as this, the social pressure is for everyone to get along, no matter what. That’s not healthy. It’s based on dishonesty. This new antisocial platform could be a game changer.”
Island residents expressed mixed feelings about the site.
“This’ll be great. Now I can tell Jack Cobia to pound sand, online, then still enjoy having drinks with him,” Rocky Shore said. “I can also give a thumbs-down to everything he posts, get all those nasty emotions out before I see him, or anyone, really, in person. It’s like a weight’s been lifted from my shoulders.”
Others took a more subdued approach.
“I sign in, then purposely don’t engage with anyone or respond to their posts,” Marcia Seagroves said. “F-Ubook makes it possible to give people the silent treatment in person and online. I log in, see who else is online, then purposely don’t chat with them. Sometimes I just stare at the screen. It’s liberating, really. And there’s also people who set up accounts and purposely don’t use them at all.”
Some users noted an unintended downside.
“The site’s filled with insults and negativity, but some people seem to like being the object of that,” Alison Diesel said. “Lee Helm posts all the time, and catches pure hell. Then he’s right back, begging for more abuse. It’s weird. He gets non-stop verbal abuse face to face. You’d think he’d reach his limit, but he seems to live for this stuff.”
FUbook is currently available only to Blacktip Island residents, but Nami said plans are in the works for expansion to all the Tiperon Islands if it proves successful.