I was recently shammed into creating a Facebook page and I am learning a lot from the experience. Not that the world is actually a small place, or that we all have similarities, or that a decade after high school we suddenly forget why we didn't like each other. But instead I have discovered that in fact we're all posers, fakers, just like in high school. The quality of who we are is summed up in the few words found under "education" and "employment." Kind of like "cheerleader" and "debate team."
If you thought that the number of friends you had in high school was important, imagine having a tally float over your head every day. You see in Facebook-land my value is assessed based on the number of "friends" I have. With 15 friends I have less value than Joe Blow with 500. But the good news is I have more value than Jane Dow who is a sad girl with only two (it's her parents-shh!). In inviting people to be friends I thought it would be polite to drop a note along saying hi, but people accepted my "friendship" without reply. They add me to their tally and keep collecting! The people I really respect are the ones who ignored my invites, those are the people who are really cool. Of course those were the people I wanted to talk to most...
You are also valued by the number of exciting things posted to your page, like books and music. You can't say you only read books recommended by Oprah, even if it's true. The farther from Oprah the better in this post-modern-indie-rock-hipster world. So find books by authors who are dead, originally had a very small printing, are now out of print, and were considered total hacks when they were alive and you may have found the coolest books to put on your virtual bookshelf. Right now I'm going with Dawn Powell-who I ripped off from Gilmore Girls. By the way, that show was a hot bed of super cool post-modern-indie-rocker-hipster references. Even if someone who would describe themselves that way would never admit to watching it or plagiarizing from it. You know who you are!
It is important to have the right photo as well. No standard pic from last Christmas, you gotta be hanging from a vine during your last trip to the Amazon baby!, or some shot of you in front of Big Ben. That's only if you want people to recognize you, otherwise you go with pictures of quirky objects, like a high school friend who has a robot for his picture. I keep vacillating between a cool picture I took of a Mayan ruin in the Yucatan and a artsy pic taken of my one time when I was a little drunk. Perfect Facebook pictures! Proof that I've traveled outside of the US and proof that I can have a good time. Joy. Sorry to say though, the lamest pictures are the ones people post of them with their kids, it's a coolness killer.
Speaking of traveling, unless you are a diplomat or independently wealthy, don't do the "Where have I been?" application, it will only depress you. I spent three hours of my life plotting the places I've been in the world. And I've been pretty lucky, I've been to Germany, Mexico and Canada and a good amount of the US (save for the Mid-West, but you understand). After all that work, the map said I'd been to 1% of the world. I checked and it can't go lower than 1%. You are born in city x, never leave city x and die in city x? 1%.
To make up for all of this Facebook angst, I did what any self respecting post-modern-indie-rocker-hipster would do, I blogged about it. It was a good day!