Saturday, February 26, 2011

Facebook: More Faces Than Sybil

I have a hard time saying “no,’” and nowhere does this characteristic play out more vividly that in Facebook. Currently I have 285 Facebook friends, two of which are not human…Merlin is a black tabby cat and Earl is a Labradoodle.  Obviously I can’t reasonably decide whether to confirm or “ignore” potential virtual friends.  As in life, I have a certain façade to maintain through Facebook, and I do not want to appear unfriendly.  It’s a social network, for crying out loud! However, you should not underestimate the power of this “friend-filled” forum as it elicits roller coaster mood changes, serves as a vehicle for the collective consciousness, and offers an anonymous stage for
recreating ones’ self.        

As I page down the posts of some of my dot-com “friends,” their communal status’ randomly bring forth anger, fear, satisfaction, confusion, pity, humility, concern, tears, and laughter.  Just selecting “news feed recent” puts me in a bi-polar tail-spin. On a regular-random basis, my Facebook family members are like tiny gigabyte ants, busily checking their daily horoscopes, their fortune cookies, and their tarot card readings; they are endlessly posting political opinions, requesting prayers and linking me to Youtube music videos from the 1980s.  With each keystroke the multitudes plead for items via Cityville, Café World, and FarmVille. (Hold the presses….did you know that Microsoft Word now recognizes Farmville as a properly spelled word?  Seriously, when I type it, there is no red, squiggly line under it to alert me to potential misspelling or grammar errors. Frightening. Especially since I am typing this on a cheap-ass Acer laptop!)

Speaking of FarmVille, the app has apparently rocketed through all of the domesticated and wild animals currently recognized on planet Earth, and now finds it necessary to tantalize people with fairy tale creatures.  No shit.  I just saw that Ridinghood Sheep and Cat n' Boots have made their way to the Farmville Market.  Not even Shrek confused Red Riding Hood with having any sheep. Although I did sleep through my bootleg of Shrek: The Final Chapter…maybe Red partied with sheep in that version? But, I digress….

My pre-teen “friends” are calculating their “sexy percentage” even though they don’t yet have boobs; my middle-age friends are calculating their “mean percentage” even though they claim to be taking their meds. Marie just found out her exotic dancer name….Dawning Daye.  On a positive note, I think the Mafia Wars are experiencing a cease fire.  And, hey ya’ll, Brad is getting the band back together! (Actually, this is the best post of the week ‘cause Brad and the Boys are bound to rock some serious Stones throughout Hooterville proper and the surrounding suburbs!)

No offense, friends a la Facebook, but I am trying to imagine what would result from a Global Consciousness Exercise or Web Bot Project involving you guys.  Let’s see…”In exploring whether the construct of interconnected unconsciousness can be validated on Angie’s home page, we, as researchers from several institutions and countries, have come to the following 2012 prediction:  Exotic dancers and people with sexy names will be elected to the majority of congressional and senatorial seats under the affiliation of the recently-formed “Tea-zer Party.” These “Tea-zers,” whose iconic symbol, xio*, trumps both the elephant and the ass, will proceed to rescue the failing economy by charging for virtual hugs, hearts, smiles, and lap dances… Then, 99 Luftballoons will be released in celebration, while Brad’s band plays Shattered."

At this time I would be remiss if I did not convey the following warning:  Please remember that the Force That Is Facebook was not made for sending sappy love messages and Burno Mars videos to your mate, veiled threats to neighbors, or for requesting help to fertilize your computer crops.  According to the Oscar-nominated Jesse Eisenberg who played Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg in the Oscar-nominated film, The Social Network, Facebook was created because Marky Z just wanted people to understand what was going on in their world a little better….and surely, an Oscar-nominated performance in an Oscar-nominated film would not lie! Actually, Mark himself is quoted as saying, “I wanted to create an environment where people could share whatever information they wanted, but also have control over whom they shared that information with…with the people you care about.”  Whatever, Mark.  Wake up.  Your huge ass cul de sac on the Information Highway is simply a means for people to concoct exaggerated profiles of their lives to make others jealous, duh. 

For the purpose of illustration, let’s review only three of my current profile statements…

1.     I enjoy sailing. 

Illusion:  Wealth, adventure, relaxation, Yacht  clubs, fruity beverages, Jimmy Buffett, exotic ports of call. 

Truth:  My step dad has a great sailboat on Smith Mountain Lake.  The few times that I have actually sailed, I felt completely inept.  The commands are confusing, winching takes the strength of a superhero, and I don’t know what “tack” means.  Someone always ends up bleeding.  The skills necessary for sailing are honed through a lifetime of practice.  I am no sailor, and it is certainly not as romantic as it sounds.  I spend 98% of my “sailing time” motoring about the lake and drinking beer.  Certainly fun, but, let’s face reality, any redneck can sit in his backyard lounge chair, cooler of High Life beside him with his feet in a Walmart kiddie pool and a box fan stirring a gentle, moist breeze (powered by an extension cord snaking into mobile home’s rear screen door.)  If you close your eyes…me and the Redneck are having an identical experience.

2.     I enjoy running.

Illusion:  athletic, fit, health-conscious.

Truth:  I run because I am too uncoordinated to do any other exercise.  I have to force myself to do it by mentally reviewing all of the fatty, sugar-filled food I consumed the day before.  Note:  I have tried Zumba.  I spent the entire HOUR hiding behind Melanie, mimicking her moves.  She is much more coordinated, and most importantly, taller.  Halfway through Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me,” the entire wave of sweaty estrogen choreographed its way 180 degrees.  To my horror, I found myself in the FRONT of the crowd.  It was a clownish, disjointed pop Latin nightmare!  I have opted for the less humiliating mode of exercise…besides 35 minutes of torture beats an entire hour of torture plus degradation. 

3.     I have a Masters Degree in Counseling.

Illusion: I am smart, determined and an expert in relationships and the complicated human psyche.

Truth:  It took me five and a half years to complete two years of study.  I am preparing for my third marriage, so “expert” is probably not the most appropriate word. Oh, and the best part, I have my own therapists….one who is paid in cash, one who is affiliated with Skinny Girl Margarita consumption and several others who practice the method of Relaxation through Rowdiness.

So, there you have it.  The Facebook fantasy unmasked.  Perhaps the Facebook “Team” which is so quick to change applications, modify page layouts, and anonymously alter privacy settings, could take on the following task:  find a way for me to organize my “friends” based on the moods their posts elicit.  So, if I am feeling melancholy, then I can read inspirational messages from God, and receive virtual bouquets.  After all, my well-being contributes to the Common Good...and isn't that the ultimate purpose of all trendy technology?

A.  Ballerina

*xio is a symbol for kiss/boner/hug, according to

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