Friday, July 2, 2010

Yep...I'm a Facebook Whore

I never expected this. What happened to me? How did I become such a shameless, addicted, sucking-on-the-teat-of-social-media Facebook slut? Over the past few years, I’ve transformed—from a hidden-identity lurker seething at pictures of my kids in state of partial undress with smoke pouring from their mouths, or gasping at their boundless fondness for the word “fuck” in routine correspondence—to a person who spends most of my waking hours either (a) on Facebook, or (b) wondering what’s happened on Facebook since the last time I logged in.

I have two Facebook pages. One is my personal page; to put it gently, it’s boring as shit. My second page, which I use to promote my book, is an endless obsession. Every time the number of “fans” (or “likes”) drops by even a single number, I freak out. “What did I say/do/not do? Who left? How can I get them back? Do I smell bad/odd/like death? How can they smell me? Why am I such a stupid, stupid, stupid person? If I updated my Facebook in the middle of a forest, would a tree fall on me?”

I look at the ratings of my “post quality”, and wonder what I have to do to make people more engaged in the content (the more they respond and share your stuff, the better your rating.) Oh, and at least once a week, I find a way to use the words “vagina”, “penis” or some derivative, because, at heart, I’m an oversexed thirteen-year-old boy who still giggles at farts. Just this past week, I enjoyed a spike in fans based on my discussion of how killer whales can be masturbated (hint: it involves a water-filled cow vagina and a steady hand).

Still, in spite of my addiction, I do have limits. I have no interest in how many sad llamas, treasured golden mystery eggs or sacks of high-quality cow shit my grammar-school classmate will share, nor do I care how many other pals my pals have dispatched to secure their vaunted ranks in the mob hierarchy. I’m too competitive. If I started playing those games, I would play for keeps. So, in the interests of not losing real-world friends because I stole their imaginary “party duck” or rare collectibles, I refrain.

I will NEVER use “LOL” or “ROFL” or “ROFLMAO” in any discussion. I may find something hilarious, but not enough to make me tip over and writhe on the carpet. Sorry. Besides, how compelling is this sort of chat session?

Them: Hi Brian.

Me: Hi.

Them: What are you doing?

Me: Oh, nothing.

Them: Hahaha. Me too, LOL. Nice day, LOL.

Me: Yes. Nice. Great day to do nothing!


Me: Yeah.

Them: Okay, LOL, talk to you later, LOL.

Me: Bye.

On the plus side, Facebook does help make the world a more intimate, accessible place. In the past few weeks, I’ve reconnected with a handful of childhood friends. Every time I find one, I feel like I've discovered a cure for cancer or a way to boil a perfect hard-boiled egg. Of course, one soon realizes that over the course of say, thirty years, some of us have changed, and the catching up may be more work than fun.

Me: Hi!

Them: Wow, long time.

Me: Yeah. So what’s new?

Them: LOL…you mean over the past three decades, ROTFL?

[Brian is offline.]

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