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Technology | Features

Time Warp

Facebook Has Created A New Wrinkle In Time

By Jennifer Latson and Andrew Sessa

Facebook Has Created A New Wrinkle In Time

This article originally appeared in the Houston Chronicle

Last week, Facebook launched a new unit of time: the flick, which corresponds to 1/705,600,000th of a second. If you’ve always thought a nanosecond was too short but a second was far too long, this is the increment you’ve been waiting for. But why should Facebook stop there when it could launch an entire time line?

  1. The friend requant: The time it takes to decide whether to accept a friend request from your 8th-grade frenemy, Amber, who you’re pretty sure just wants to sell you essential oils. Length: Somewhere between a nanosecond and a flick, on average.
  2. The memute: How much time you have to post your own witty take on the latest viral meme before it becomes stale. Length: The number of flicks it takes Sad Keanu to eat a sandwich alone on a park bench.
  3. The Facebyte: The time spent crafting exactly the right comment when your freshman-year roommate posts that she has sold her first novel, which must include the word “congrats” (for the balloon effects) and should in no way reveal that you are dreading the debut of what she describes as “Fifty Shades of Grey set in the zombie apocalypse.” Length: About half a memute, plus a few billion flicks to decide between the thumbs-up or the heart emoji.
  4. The privasec: The interval when you carefully adjust your privacy settings after Facebook revamps them before just giving up and posting your social security number, wedding anniversary and mother's maiden name in your bio. Because, let's face it, you're destined to lose that battle. Length: As long as it takes to say “year-long security breach that exposed the private data of 6 million users.”
  5. The flack: The period in which it slowly dawns on you that the unexpected message from your college crush was not prompted by his realization that he made a horrible mistake in never calling you after that one party where you totally hit it off — but was in fact a prelude to him asking you to donate generously to your 15th reunion class gift. Length: Way longer than it should have taken. Come on.
  6. The fluke: The time it takes you to figure out that the story in your news feed about Malia Obama’s addiction to Tide PODS was generated by Russian bots (and reposted by Amber). Length: Much less than a flack, to your credit.
  7. The flunk: The total length of your Facebook tenure before you decide to disable your account. Alternate usage: The amount of time your account stays disabled before you realize you can’t live without it. Length: Varies, although the former is measured in memutes and the latter in flicks.

Jennifer Latson is an editor at Rice Business Wisdom and the author of The Boy Who Loved Too Much, a nonfiction book about a rare disorder called Williams syndrome.

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