Stephen Hawking's First Facebook Post Urges You To "Be Curious," And It's Perfect
Isn't social media wonderful? When you think of how much access that average people have to fascinating and important public figures, it really hits home how awesome it all can be. And on Friday, the world of social media became even a little bit cooler — world renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has joined Facebook, and his first post strikes a pretty perfect tone.
Hawking's long been a very unique figure for his transcendence between academia, science and popular culture. Throughout the '80s, '90s, and clear through to today, his name's become basically synonymous with the idea of irrepressible scientific brilliance. In particular, his book A Brief History of Time proved both very successful and influential, and cemented his place in the broader culture as one of the modern era's most sophisticated thinkers.
And while his devotees would once have had to settle for just reading his published works, Hawking is now more visible than ever. He's on Facebook just like everyone else, and he's got things to say! In his first-ever post, he described being motivated to understanding why the universe exists, and offered some characteristically worthwhile advice: always stay curious.
I have always wondered what makes the universe exist. Time and space may forever be a mystery, but that has not stopped my pursuit. Our connections to one another have grown infinitely and now that I have the chance, I’m eager to share this journey with you. Be curious, I know I will forever be. Welcome, and thank you for visiting my Facebook Page.
If early indications mean anything, it seems like Hawking is getting the hang of Facebook pretty quickly, as well. He's even already got an Ice Bucket Challenge video up! Although he didn't take the plunge himself — Hawking is himself a victim of the neuromuscular disease ALS, and suffered a bout of pneumonia last year, so an ice water dousing wouldn't have been safe or sensible. Instead, Hawking's family stood in, specifically his three children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim. And just like you'd expect — it's right there in the name, "ice bucket," after all — it looked pretty damn chilly.
It's nice to get to see Hawking and his family take the challenge, to combat a debilatating disease that's impacted all of them so personally — he urges that you consider making a donation to the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and I agree, if you have the financial ability to comfortably do so.
It'll be interesting see what comes out of Hawking's new home on Facebook over the coming weeks and months — suffice it to say, there are few people I'd rather get a friend request from.
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