Sometimes I think Facebook is a disease, but I generally find all things Facebook highly amusing. From it’s early days as a way to share digitial evidence of the bad decisions we’d made the night before, to the status update, to the newsfeed, it has come a long way, baby. There is no telling when this whirling dervish of personal information overload will stop.
According to the Facebook Stats Page, there are more than 750 million worldwide facebook users, over half of whom log in at least once a day, with each user creating an average of 90 pieces of content a month. Whoaaaaa, nelly! We sure think we are interesting, don’t we?
For the most part, the vortex of self-promotion is hilarious. However, if there were any way to scientifically test it, I would bet all my imaginary money that the generations born into a Facebookified world are a billion times more narcissistic, petty, and creepy than all previous generations combined.
My first piece of evidence is the Profile Pic. They say “don’t judge a book by its cover.” But we all do. Especially here in our made up, online world. Its called FACEbook, for crying out loud. The trends aren’t limited to our teens and tweens; I see many adults I respect falling victim to pics that are either silly, disturbing, or such a “wow, I can’t look away” train wreck of overshare, and 45 minutes later I catch myself in a mad voyeuristic downward spiral, clicking furiously yet mindlessly through every piece of content on their page. This usually requires a headshake and a walk to the fridge, wondering what just happened.
There are several categories of Profile Pics, ranging from innocuous to obnoxious. Probably the biggest Profile Pic offender is the “I clearly took this pic myself.” It originated with myspace, and I remember seeing lots of disgusting armpit that way. But now we have fancy cameras that turn around! What an upgrade.
There are several subcategories. I think these are fun and cute if there is someone else in the photo. Or a historical landmark. Or something funny. What I find silly are:
- me and my makeup I just put on
- me and a kissy face (a la the olsen twins…curse them!)
- me in the front seat of the car (with the seatbelt on still)
- me and my new haircut!!!
- me and my six pack (hugely popular during the peak of myspace….the guy points the camera to the bathroom mirror, and there is usually a flash spot too big to actually notice the muscles. somehow, the effect is not quite achieved with my yet-to-be-defined biceps…)
- me and a subtle shot of my cleavage. extremely popular among teenage girls.
- me and a funny face! I can laugh at myself!
- me taking a picture of myself in the bathroom mirror in a public place
- me and my funny hat!
- me and my fake glasses! (i have a serious vendetta against fake glasses. ive had to endure them since the fourth grade, and now the frames i was teased for are suddenly cool and sexy?! But only if you punch the lenses out of the 3d ones you got from the theater?! why is life so unfair!)
- me being artsy!!! (most people who a. live in cities b. think of themselves as photographers or c. are aspiring musicians thinking of their imaginary CD cover have at least two apps on their iPhones specifically for this purpose.)
I was laughing out loud as I took some of these pics, because….what are people thinking when they take them seriously? But – I was also *cringing* as I realized that I have myself fallen victim to some of these. We are always a little bit of the people we hate.
Other categories to follow in the days to come…for now, do a self-study! Actually, its probably easier to judge your friends. Judge me, even! Look at their photos, and see if there are any “I took this myself” categories that I’ve missed!
Until tomorrow…keep thinking the rest of the world is as interested in you as you are, and update your status/profile pic/personal info/blog/ ….hey…wait a minute….
August 20, 2011 at 12:26 am
For readers who are parents, this is actually a great article about what your teens are doing online, pictures they take, how the social networking world makes them feel, etc. As a junior high teacher, I felt it was pretty accurate. Also a good read for teachers!