Strange but true, “A group where we all pretend to be ants in an ant colony” seems to be one of the most popular (and unusual) Facebook groups ever created. It’s basically 1.8 million people pretending they are ants, posting photos and videos about being ants. They live to worship their fictional queen and find her food, such as crumbles, candy and ice cream, writing comments like “LIFT,” “MUNCH” and “LINK”.
It is not strange that being stuck at home for weeks on end makes people do crazy and unusual things, and the rise of Facebook’s now famous “ant group” is just an example.
Created in June of 2019, A group where we all pretend to be ants in an ant colony counted “just” 100,000 members in march of 2020, but then the Covid-19 pandemic started wreaking havoc everywhere prompting social distancing and isolation measures, and the number of members skyrocketed to over a million in less than two months.
And now the Facebook group where everyone “worships the Queen and do ant stuff” has over 1.8 million members. And the number of people vying to join keeps rising.
Apart from the general idea of a group of humans pretending to be ants online, the main draw of this group is the opportunity to escape all “human issues” and escape the stress and worried of daily life. In fact, one of the rules that members of the group must abide by is never to discuss politics of human issues in general. The group is all about being an ant, helping the colony, and above all, worshiping the Queen.
In any case, the community has become so popular these past couple of months that its moderators have been struggling to keep up with new member requests.
“We have so many user requests and pending posts that this has become a job for me,” Tyrese Childs, a college student living in Fargo, North Dakota, said. The group creator also added: “I think people are searching for something to do right now. You can only scroll so much on social media.”
In case you’re wondering what goes on in a Facebook group where nearly 2 million people pretend they are ants in a colony, it gets people’s minds off things, and that’s all that matters.
The rise of online role-playing during a time of crisis doesn’t surprise Andreas Lieberoth, an assistant professor of media psychology at Aarhus University in Denmark. “The ant group sounds like a psychologically safe space to meander with nothing scary and nothing political and nothing coronavirus-related,” he said. “I don’t know if ants get COVID, but in this colony, they don’t.”
Lieberoth is researching how people are managing stress during the global pandemic, and he’s finding that people are worried about overall societal impact and what will happen to their families, their jobs and their communities.
And ants have no such worries.
“As more of the world seems like something you can’t predict, we try to ignore things that we can’t control, and we try to find spaces where things are relaxing, like gardening or hiking or playing games,” he added.
So if you’ve become so bored that acting like an ant online doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, request to join “A group where we all pretend to be ants in an ant colony”.
What do you have to lose?