When confronted with something that is both massive in scale and completely quantifiable, it does something to your brain. That “something” is hard to explain, but we feel it when we look at The Faces Of Facebook
, which is a web page--a single web page--that contains the thumbnail images of all 1.2 billion (and counting) Facebook users.
The work of “creative technologist” Natalia Rojas, the site keeps a running tally of all the world’s Facebook users in chronological order, which is a number that trends upward by the second on the social network
. When you drag your cursor across the page, a pop-up tells you which Facebook image number (or FACE #) you’re about to click on. When you click, it will zoom in to a small cluster of images, and the you can click one of the larger thumbnails to visit someone’s actual Facebook page. (Hello Susie D., FACE #192,919,105. You’ve been clicked on at random.)
All of those dots are faces
If you like, you can connect the page to Facebook and find out where your image resides. And for the record, before the privacy
mavens freak out, Rojas says that this is essentially just a clever way to show public information--the site isn’t using or storing private information, not even the images.
The page simultaneously makes you feel like an insignificant speck in the world and also gives you the sense of being connected with the rest of humanity. For instance, I clicked an image at random, and the profile I came across is someone who lives in a mid-size city an hour from where I used to live. Will wonders never cease.