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Plant Watered by Facebook Fans Drowns in Love, Literally

'meet eater' plant
Tragic news from Facebook, yesterday: a plant has died. The flora, named 'Meet Eater,' was originally planted in Australia by Queensland University student Bashkim Isai, who wanted to find out whether or not random online strangers would care enough about a plant to collectively "water" it. To test his theory, Isaid created a Facebook page for his Eater; whenever someone became a fan of the plant, or posted on its Wall, the plant would automatically be watered. As it turns out, the 'FarmVille'-weary, Facebook community responded enthusiastically to the idea of watering a real plant, with more than 5,000 members becoming a fan of Isai's plant-child within just two months. All those fans, however, also meant a lot of water -- so much, in fact, that the thing drowned.

"We found that it's been over-loved, it's actually died two times from having too much stimulation, which is an interesting outcome for us," Isai told the AFP. Even after breeding a "much more water tolerant" strain for the third incarnation of Meet Eater, Isai says the plant simply couldn't handle the torrents of love he'd received from the social network. While Isai's results suggest that real connections can be forged online, he says that some basic "needs and responses" still can't be met by computer alone -- even with the support of a user base. "There have been some people who are very proactive with the plant's engagement who maintain conversations with the plant over some weeks," Isai said, in all seriousness. "But there are a very large number of people who just come on there, say hello and then do nothing more, they don't really have an interest in continuing."

Tags: australia, bashkim isai, BashkimIsai, behavior, botany, experiment, facebook, MeetEater, plants, social, SocialNetworking, top, web