[ I CELEBRATE myself and sing myself]
Everyone’s been on Facebook. Well, everyone except my Grandmother.
And only because she’s dead.
Despite the literally hundred of millions of people on this website, it seems that every poster can be classified into just a few personality types. I count five:
1. The Narcissist. You know the type. The girl with 5000 online “friends”. Legitimately pretty, she shows more skin on her Facebook profile than she would on an evening out to a club. Leaning into the camera in low-cut nighties… probably taken by a similarly pink panty-clad friend.
Or so we imagine.
She complains the day after Valentine’s Day that no one asked her out. And then asks where are all the good men? And why men aren’t brave enough to approach her? And how come men are so cheap on first dates? And why don’t men try to make more of an effort to impress her? And what happened to courtship? And why do men expect to sleep with her after only 6 months of dating? And why don’t men write poetry to woo their lovers anymore? And couldn’t men just learn to leave the toilet seat down? And why even bother standing while you’re peeing anyway? And couldn’t men just learn to sit while they pee? And why men don’t act like men anymore?
This is followed (predictably) by several dozen men (not many considering that girl’s 5000 “friends”) all trying to show how they are both more feminine and more masculine – at the same time! – than she could hope for and wouldn’t she consider going out with them?
To which she replies: “Nope, you had your chance. Valentine’s Day was yesterday. Better luck next year.”
Seriously: Can anyone be this starved for attention? But keep posting your cheesecake shots. I’m copying them onto my hard drive for later use should you get your big acting break.
2. The Narcissist. You know the type. The parent from the land of ticky-tacky boxes. We get riveting updates like:
“Picking up Jimmy from soccer and onto Chuck E. Cheese.”
“Getting a soy double latte at Starbucks.”
“Ick! Ever step on a hairball at 5 am in your bare feet?”
“Told Jimmy to go outside to sled.”
“Just like yesterday. Shoveling snow again.”
“Snow. I can’t make it out to get my soy double latte.”
“Can’t remember a winter like this!”
“Had to tell Jimmy to stop torturing cat.”
“More snow on its way. I’m out of coffee. This is getting bad.”
“Put Jimmy down. Time for wine.”
“Weatherman says more snow for tomorrow. Want to SCREAM!”
“That cat better not barf up another hair ball.”
“Coffee withdrawal. Getting the DTs.”
“Jimmy is driving me crazy.”
“Did I say I hate shoveling? I really, really, REALLY hate it!!!”
“I HATE SNOW!!!!”
“Ready to kill Jimmy.”
And all this from a person who lived in Syracuse all his life.
Seriously: Please don’t involve me in your banal nightmare. Unless you actually kill Jimmy. Then post a full confession for the authorities. If you insist on my attention, keep me entertained.
3. The Narcissist. You know this type. The “genius” who constantly posts links to long articles from Salon, The Economist, Scientific American, Huffington Post, Wired, My Weekly Reader. With the urban cool smoothness of a Miles Davis solo circa 1953, the guy at once engages and dismisses the entire known world. His lead comment to all his links (and he only posts links) is always the same: “Just as I predicted…”
Economic indicators show China has surpassed Japan ?
“Just as I predicted…”
Computer beats human on Jeopardy?
“Just as I predicted…”
The 1,467,333,321,908th digit of pi is 6?
“Just as I predicted…”
I just have one question: Why aren’t you running the world yet? Why are you wasting your precious neurotransmitters on Facebook for the glory of… whoa dude!.. only 107 friends? Are you kidding me? That’s the total amount of online interest you can generate?
I guess that could have been predicted.
Seriously: Am I really supposed to think you are smart just because you know how to subscribe to an RSS feed and repost? When Walt Whitman sang a song of himself, he didn’t look nearly this pompous. And at least he originated the content on his own.
4. The Narcissist. You know the type. Without anything to say for herself (because this type always seems to be female), she will post either affirmations or deep philosophical musings. It’s called plagiarized attention: “I’m a quote whore! Look at me!” Bonus points for quoting something shmaltzy from the 19th century (think Emerson or Dickinson). Or something ridiculously erudite (think Nietzsche or Kant).
Does she really expect me to believe that she understands:
“At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference.” ~ Kierkegaard
when it’s posted next to the photos of her drunk at the last party she attended? (It would make more sense if she posted quotes from Bill W.)
Her Facebook wall ends up looking like a senior yearbook page:
Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. ~ Albert Camus
“All we are saying, is give peace a chance” ~ John Lennon
“It’s dysfunction this, and dysfunction that, and dysfunction ma fangul!” ~ Tony Soprano
There is a secondary flavor of this type of Facebooker: the one who leaves off the attribution. As if we are fooled into believing she (always a she!) is formulating these gems effortlessly for her own private twitter feed. If you insist on quoting “Imagination is more important than Knowledge” (with or without attribution), here’s some knowledge: Try to be more imaginative.
Seriously: I can go to brainyquote.com anytime if I find myself in need of a platitude complete with a tilde.
5. The Voyeur. Ummm… that would be me.
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