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Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Facebook numbers game has people raising awareness about themselves

By Melissa Bell
(Carol Guzy/The Washington Post)

Just when you thought the cartoon craze was dying out, news streams all over Facebook have another mystery: "#4 You broke my heart. To this day I still think about you." "#51.2 You always make me smile. I'm so glad you're in my life."

Unlike the cartoon craze, or the "I like it on..." the trend has nothing to do with raising awareness for charities.

If it raises anything, it's raising awareness about your true feelings for your friends. The premise is simple: To start the game, someone tells everyone to send them a private message with any number they choose. Then the person can post a public message to that person using the number. Everyone will see the message, but the only two people who know what it's about will be the original poster and the person who chose that number.

It has all the makings of a smash-hit trend: It plays off people's love of finding out secrets about themselves. It has the mystery to make people wonder what they're missing out on. And requires little effort.

It has taken off within the past week. Urlesque thinks the game got its start on Twitter, though it has only exploded in popularity once it made the move to Facebook. However, some users are beginning to find the game wearying:

RT @AkomaPura: I propse a NEW #s game.DM me your debit/credit card numbers cuz i'm hungry and broke~ Ppl slow down Not everybody all at onceless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

By Melissa Bell  | December 8, 2010; 10:28 AM ET
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Let me get this straight - you're being paid to report on what people are posting on Facebook? If anything is not news (or even close to news), this is it. On the other hand, you're being paid to surf Facebook, which is certainly easier than working.

Posted by: ikeaboy | December 8, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I found it instantly boring. But what it REALLY point out is how much information you put out on Facebook. That is the story, when you realize all these posts are happening and because they have become anonymous you all of a sudden are out of the voyeuristic loop.

Posted by: rcc_2000 | December 8, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Facebook? What is facebook? I'm still trying to put together a My Space page.

Posted by: sonny2 | December 8, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

This one at least has some point to it, though I'm glad that so far no one's tried to get me to play. The changing your profile picture to a cartoon to show support for the fight against child abuse was just plain shallow and ridiculous, as if people aren't aware of child abuse. If people really wanted to do something they could find a reputable charity doing work on the issue and donate or volunteer. The profile picture thing is just a completely empty gesture that lets people pat themselves on the back for doing nothing. It's vapid and self-serving.

Posted by: Chip_M | December 8, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

This isn't news! Jesus Christ, how pathetic.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | December 8, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

reading this pathetic excuse for an article reminded me of the days, actually not so long ago, when newspapers actually played a serious role in the national dialogue.

Posted by: joelcavicchia | December 9, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

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