Skip to main content

Apparently This Matters: Facebook bracelets at Tomorrowland

"So, uh ... want to be Facebook friends?"
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Festival-goers at Tomorrowland will wear bracelets that send Facebook friend requests
  • The wearable tickets are an example of smart technology being used at music festivals
  • Tomorrowland takes place during the last two weekends in July in Boom, Belgium

Editor's note: Each week in "Apparently This Matters," CNN's Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the Web.

(CNN) -- For several months in 2003, I did the whole European backpacker thing. Which is to say I've seen nearly every cathedral within 1,000 square miles of the Danube.

"Are we cultured yet?"

"Shut up. Two more."

It also means that I have an old journal filled out in the back with countless e-mail addresses from travelers I'll probably never see again. This was before the heyday of social media, back when pretending to care about people you just met required considerably less effort.

\
"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

Because now when you go abroad, you actually have to connect with your fellow travelers over Facebook. And then deny their Candy Crush requests.

Well, these casual travel friendships are about to go completely bonkers over the next two weekends as the world-famous Tomorrowland festival kicks off in Belgium.

I'll get to why in a moment, but for those of you who are unfamiliar with Tomorrowland, it's a multiday gathering of thousands upon thousands of beautiful young people from all over the planet, congregating in a fairytale-themed field, dancing all night to DJs playing EDM.

(Note to Dad: EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music. It sounds nothing like Willie Nelson. Just put on the Golf Channel and stay away from Belgium.)

That said, if you're not my dad and actually enjoy EDM, it's probably a great time. Especially if you're into that whole being young and enjoying life thing.

I'd go, but my iCal has me scheduled to wallow in self-doubt.

(The following weekend is also completely booked with some pre-planned lower back pain.)

However, if you do make it over to Belgium, this year you'll be wearing a special festival bracelet that allows you to instantly send friend requests to people you just met.

"YOU get a friend request. YOU get a friend request. YOU get a friend request. EVERYBODY GETS A FRIEND REQUEST!"

Now, because this festival is so delightfully wackadoo, these bracelets literally arrive at your door in a Tomorrowland treasure case, which, from what I've seen online, is far more ornate than anything I currently have in my house.

No offense, IKEA.

You see, this festival tends to go all-in on the ridiculous. And I like that.

\
"You down for some Candy Crush?" Tomorrowland attendees will wear bracelets that make instant friend requests.

They've made it fun before you even get there.

An instructional Web video from Tomorrowland explains that, once your treasure case arrives in the mail, you have to use a "magical key" to "unlock the happiness."

Then, inside the box, you'll find your bracelet, for which you have to go online to activate with a personalized code.

Next, to "fully unleash all its magical power," you connect it to your Facebook account. And if everything syncs up as it should, the bracelet is then armed for making instant friends.

Back in my day, we used cheap bourbon and old war stories.

Somehow, I just turned 72.

But at Tomorrowland, you and your new pal just need to be near each other while you press your "heart" buttons at the same time.

The next day, you'll receive a daily "special friendship" e-mail with all the contact details of your new late-night besties.

\
"Yeah, Tomorrowland! Give it up if you were born in the early '90s!"

"Who the hell is Gunther?"

"He's that crazy German guy with no pants. You spent six hours with him building a glow stick castle."

"Oh, Guuuuunther."

So, who knows what kind of new digital friends you'll suddenly make. The possibilities are endless.

You can even play port-a-potty roulette with the person using the stall next to yours.

"I don't know who you are over there, or what you just ate, but ... One. Two. Three. Go!"

What's also cool is that the bracelet is actually your entrance pass to the festival. There's no paper. And that's sort of the new trend in ticketing: high-tech smart bracelets.

In fact, this year, Lollapalooza in Chicago is going cashless by using radio frequency identification-enabled wristband tickets that also allow festival-goers to make payments. The bracelets are linked to the user's credit card.

All hail our giant butterfly overlord. What is thy bidding?
All hail our giant butterfly overlord. What is thy bidding?

Which, after far too many beers, probably sounds like this:

"I'll take a poster. And a t-shirt. And a coozie. And another poster. And another t-shirt for that guy. And whatever this chick wants. And let's do another poster."

What could possibly go wrong?

Anyway, things have certainly changed since I promised to keep in touch with all those people I met back in Europe. But this is just life as we know it in our crazy modern world.

Embrace it.

"Hey, Gunther. You up for another glow stick castle?"

Follow @JarrettBellini on Twitter.

See more content with questionable news value at CNN Comedy.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Apparently This Matters...
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 2214 GMT (0614 HKT)
I vaguely recall Pizza Hut's Book It elementary school reading incentive program. Though, to be fair, I vaguely remember what I had for breakfast.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 2337 GMT (0737 HKT)
It took a lot of effort for Leo Bonten to turn his amputated leg into a fully functional lamp. For starters, he had to break the damn thing in a freak kiddie pool accident.
September 20, 2014 -- Updated 0022 GMT (0822 HKT)
If you asked me -- and God knows nobody has -- I would have to guess that never in the history of humankind has anyone ever actually slipped on a banana peel.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 2223 GMT (0623 HKT)
I'm a napper.
September 8, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
Since the beginning of time, man has looked up into the cosmos at those shiny, twinkling stars and thought, "I wonder if lizards would do each other up there?"
August 23, 2014 -- Updated 1528 GMT (2328 HKT)
We all have weird, irrational concerns.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 0225 GMT (1025 HKT)
"What does this thing do?"
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Despite all the political tension in Crimea, it's nice to know things are still safe enough at the zoo for a zebra to get it on with a donkey.
August 2, 2014 -- Updated 0141 GMT (0941 HKT)
Justin Sylvester's wife is pregnant. With a baby.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 0010 GMT (0810 HKT)
There's a famous scene in the movie "Titanic" where Rose turns to Jack and says, "I want you to draw me like one of your French girls."
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 2015 GMT (0415 HKT)
For several months in 2003, I did the whole European backpacker thing. Which is to say I've seen nearly every cathedral within 1,000 square miles of the Danube.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1917 GMT (0317 HKT)
The other day I saw a death metal band hanging out by their tour van in the parking lot behind a club. They were all dressed in black, and may or may not have been working on lyrics to a new song about fire and lamb meat.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 1305 GMT (2105 HKT)
There are two good reasons to own a giant trampoline.
June 13, 2014 -- Updated 2251 GMT (0651 HKT)
I would love to say my dog is intellectually qualified to be a service animal. But he's not. There's barely enough brainpower there to be a lamp.
June 8, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
I've never really needed an extra ear.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 2032 GMT (0432 HKT)
I never actually caught a glimpse of the Tooth Fairy when I was young, but she was definitely real and in cahoots with my mom. This, due to the fact that I never woke up to find a Nintendo.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 1957 GMT (0357 HKT)
Have you ever seen a man running in a marathon, bleeding from his nipples?
May 16, 2014 -- Updated 1952 GMT (0352 HKT)
Brace yourselves, because this week's story is about sperm and poop.
ADVERTISEMENT