How much power does Facebook have?

By Matter

Facebook can control your life. Okay, so that was an exaggeration. But, Facebook did control the life of Meet Eater, an Australian plant that was watered and fed in conjunction with interaction on its Facebook page.

The plant, which was hooked up to a computer, was automatically watered when people became a fan of the Facebook page or wrote comments on its wall. Acts of kindness and adoring Meet Eater celebrity were turned into extra drops of water.

Meet Eater quickly gained popularity, and as a result it was over-watered and died. The plant is now being replaced (for the third time) by a more water resilient species. This is part of an interactive project at the University of Queensland in Australia, which the creator describes the experiment as “a desire to reestablish the connection between human beings and plants.” The plant is even hooked up to speakers so it can purr or splutter, when it’s happy or being overwhelmed.

Now this is an extraordinary use of Facebook. But is it too much? How are you using Facebook?