Facing Down Facebook

I just poked myself into not writing what my status is on Facebook.

Sure, it was tempting to tell the world where my head was at, simply because I was really convinced that my friends (some of whom I haven’t seen since WarGames was in the theatres) needed to know that I just finished my taxes!

And then I did the following exercise:

I wrote down the last five things I did.

I then waited seven minutes.

I then re-read that list.

I then asked myself if even I gave a shit.

But the exercise got me thinking further about this online thing, this monster, that suddenly none of us can do without. Is it just the networking site du jour?

Or is it here to stay, like email, evite, luggage and Tim Geithner?

And the answer is, unfortunately, yes.

Sure, there will be competitors. Better versions, much like the way ColecoVision always able to beat Atari in every pissing contest (yet gets no love in the nostalgia department compared to the 2600). But Facebook’s reach is so far and wide that it’s hard to imagine anyone migrating to another site unless the whole online party goes with him/her.

So with the acceptance of Facebook now being a part of my life comes some immediate quandaries. For starters, what happens if your boss or some version of a higher-up wants to be your Facebook friend?

If you say no, you’re insulting him/her.

If you say yes, your Facebook page becomes lifeless via sanitization. And after factoring in the stress of some idiot friend with way too much time on his/her hands who needs to tag you in every horrific photo you’ve EVER taken, it goes to a whole new level of privacy. This is especially true when said idiot feels a need to post all of those Kodak moments of you drunk, naked, stoned, or all three.

And you all know who you are.

To that end, I present the official Thesaurus of Facebook:

Tagger: See above.

W.P.C. or Weekly Profile Changer: A person who feels the need to change their G-Damn profile photo every 2-4 days. The new photo is really no different from previous 51 photos used in primary profile they’ve used since they joined three months ago. Just try imagine how long it takes them to get ready to go out for a night (90 minutes, minimum).

Guy/Girl Who Suffers from Diarrhea of the mind: Someone who can’t control every thought that oozes out of their brain. On a positive note, at least those who may be considering this person as a dating prospect are now provided a preview of what the average inane dinner conversation or text messaging will be like (Incidentally, there are two people on Facebook named “Inane”. Chatouani Inane and Rosemary Inane. Look it up. Seriously).

Diarrhea/Inane examples on my Facebook homepage this morning:

Example 1: Jennifer is sleepy and doesn’t want to get out of bed!

Example 2: Mike just finished working out!

Example 3: Mel hates assembling cheap furniture from Bed, Bath, and Beyond!

Example 4: Alison thinks all men in Hoboken are pigs!

Example 5: Doug is off to work! (This one was actually written at 8:00 AM at a time when nobody leaves for work. And tomorrow I expect Doug to inform everyone that the sun rose in the East)…

Guy/Girl who wouldn’t remember birthday of friend without Facebook and is therefore a big phony: Yes, it’s true they haven’t picked up a phone, sent an email, a text, a card, crumpled note, NOTHING in the past 10 years when your birthday hit. But thanks to the ultimate device for disingenuousness, your wall is filled with HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! notes as far as the eye can see (including the slightly-overused, “How does it feel to be 21?” originality).

Cyber “gift” guy/girl: Hey, I just broke the record for most guy/girl/him/her usage in one column! Woo-hoo! But getting back to the definition, these so-called presents on line (a shot, flowers, even a birthday cake) are usually sent by the same people who disappear faster than Vince Carter in the 4th quarter when it’s time to buy a round of drinks that actually exist in the real world. These are also invariably the same people who offer to buy shots at your average wedding ceremony.

Mass-Friend Competitor: For some, Facebook is simply a quantifier, and therefore adding as many friends as possible is seemingly the only goal.

We’ve all had this happen: Some random soul somehow figures out (and maybe this is easy to do, no idea) how to hijack a friend’s entire list of friends and proceeds to ask all of them (without ever having met them) to be THEIR friend. You can just here the sauced conversation at some bar happening right about now:

Tool: “How many friends do you have on Facebook?”

Tool #2: “I have 579. Beat that!”

Tool #1: “Ok. I only have 543, but I expect to be up to 604 by the end of the week!”

Tool #2: “That so bad-ass! Wait, what’s your name again?”

And now, there are even horrifying stories of Facebook replacing corporate recruiters, who are usually one of the first employees to be laid off in a tough economy. Who needs a human being to do background checks when Facebook provides all the ammunition, er, information an employer will ever need? In a related story, 97.8% of all Facebook profiles will only help lose a job instead of securing one.

So enjoy your new online friend.

Chances are (like most friends) it will eventually betray your trust, bore you to death, reveal a secret, and/or wear out its welcome.