The new Face(book) of narcissism
Facebook: it has changed many people’s lives. It has changed some for the better: it works for people who have social anxiety, agoraphobia, or personalities that result in people liking them only for short bursts. However, it has changed many lives for the worse: people used to go out, call their “contacts,” and communicate in more than two to three sentences at a time, and were better able to avoid grade school “friends.” Personally, for me I think it is interesting to find out what kind of “Facebook people” are on my friends list.
There are several distinct categories of people you may befriend over Facebook. These include: people you actually know; people you think you know but don’t; people you vaguely remember from some past occasion; and finally people you don’t know at all, but it seems like you should know them, because they went to your high school, and your town only has 2000 people in it. Those belonging to this latter group may have 55 friends in common with you, but still you can’t recall them at all. I was the president of my student council, and it appears everyone from high school remembers me. I blame assemblies.
Personally, I find the closer the person is to your current circle of friends, the less weird and annoying their Facebook participation seems. (This might just be because most of my close real friends have almost no “apps” and know better than to invite me to “stripper parties at Republic.”) I have found there are a whole bunch of things people are doing with Facebook: most of these things are stupid.
As my previous article noted, a large number of the outer-outer-outer circle of people I know post really stupid stuff in the notes section of their Facebook. I was astonished to find that people make the effort to post real commentary and thoughts. I will admit I still have a livejournal. Do I tell people what the address is? No. Why? Because I don’t want everyone who can still remember my name well enough to type it into a search field to know when I’ve fought with a loved one, or what I like or dislike about school, or whether I still have that rash on my thighs. Why would you want your friend from grade three who hasn’t talked to you since then to know that kind of stuff?
Secondly, why do people keep inviting me to big ol’ me-me-me parties over Facebook. I get invitations to events requesting me to ”come to [their] house and watch videos of the play [they] were in!” sent to 200 people. Another example: ”Everyone come up with ideas for me and my boyfriend to do on our anniversary, I want to make it really good, and he has no idea about this group, so everyone tell me what you’d do!” Um, how about you figure out what your own boyfriend likes and stop trying to sap the creativity of others in order to get lucky?
Other pet peeves include being invited to “super poke” or other applications with taglines such as “find out your rating amongst all my friends!” I KNOW I haven’t seen that person since puberty, so I sense already where I rank on their “coolest/flirtiest/smartest” list - nowhere, because they barely even know me!
But the number one thing that I cannot EVER understand is the photo album labeled ”me” or something to that effect, with hand-picked photos of themselves in which they think look really great. What the hell is that about? To me this is like carrying pictures of yourself in your wallet to show people. It’s like standing in a store and saying to the clerk, “Hey, check out how cute I look from this angle” while kneeling on the floor.
Who in their right mind does this? There is already an album of hand-picked, ultra-flattering pictures of you on Facebook. It is called your profile pictures album. Facebook makes it automatically whenever you add a picture as your profile picture. If I wanted a biased look at your appearance, I’d look there. Facebook also compiles pictures of you that other people add to their albums, so if I want to see what you look like in pictures that are not photoshopped, over-exposured, and stangly angled, I’ll look there.
Yet they can’t even stop there! What is even more mind-blowing is when people actually write captions for the hand-picked pictures of themselves, explaining to us that they look great.
Here are ACTUAL phrases I lifted from the bottoms of pictures in albums entitled “me” by people I’m sad to say I knew at some point:
“Meg Ryan, anyone?”
“I can see down my shirt ;)”
“true love poison”
“what ya lookin at??”
(Also, if anyone who posted these phrases reads this and is miffed, consider it a lesson in modesty and in why you shouldn’t post things on the Internet for people you barely know to read/go through.)
What possible justification could there be for this process? It’s not like it is something that you just “do”: you created a photo album, named it, went to the uploader tool, selected one that you took of yourself, waited for it to upload, tagged it as yourself, and edited the comments to suggest you are sexy or look like a celebrity. There is no way that you can justify that. Ever.
And I know what you are thinking: so if I hate this stuff why do I even have a Facebook? Because you can’t buy material like this, and here everyone is giving it away for free! For a bitch like me, this is Christmas morning. Cheers!