Facebook Surge Suggests Alternative to Awkward Family Gatherings

Hitwise numbers have Facebook beating Google for Christmas

Online analytics firm Hitwise announced that for December 24 and 25 -- Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for some religionists -- Facebook was the No. 1 most-visited website, beating Google for the first time.

Because, clearly, there is no better way to honor the birth of Jesus Christ than logging onto Facebook and sending a thank-you poke to your great aunt who bought you that horrifically ugly sweater.

Google and Yahoo Mail were the most visited sites for the rest of the year, and Facebook, based in Palo Alto, was No. 2 to Google, based in neighboring Mountain View, last Christmas.

Admittedly, the rise of online social interaction has its downsides. Apparently there are people who prefer to talk to other humans rather than obsessively post status updates.

But if Facebook provides a way to keep in touch with your relatives without having to brave holiday travel just so your mother can harass you about not giving her any grandchildren, it may be a net positive.

Then again, if Facebook has you feeling depressed and lonely during one of the most depressing and lonely times of the year, feel free to commit suicide -- profile suicide, that is, with the Web 2.0 Suicide Machine, which lets you wipe out your online presence.

Because a certain lord and savior knows that your crazy Ron Paul fanatic of a cousin sending you Facebook messages about dismantling the Federal Reserve is awkward and annoying any time of year.

Jackson West only checked his Gmail account once on Christmas.

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