Facebook (and other social networking sites) are promoted on the base of lovely virtues -- maintaining friendship, meeting new people, finding new interests, professional networking. Facebook's real virtues are FAR more interesting and beneficial than these, however. Here's how Facebook should advertise:
1. Watch your friends' faces spread! Especially after you haven't seen them for ten years. Then, compare them to your own face OR only upload photoshopped pictures of yourself.
2. Gawk at your friends' ugly children. Feel relieved that you didn't have your own.
3. Wonder if your friends actually have jobs, considering the vast number of postings and photos with which they populate their profiles. Rejoice that you are far superior. And busier. And better employed.
4. Waste time at work, particularly if you can make the argument that you have a responsibility to make social and professional connections as part of your job.
5. Waste more time at work inventing fascinating and suggestive things to enter as your status. Take breaks from actual work to record the fact that you're actually working.
6. Learn more about yourself by taking quizzes about your favorite activities, how much you resemble your astrological sign's profile, your favorite movies. Change your answers to ensure that you appear clever and mysterious.
7. Wrack your brain trying to remember who these people are who are trying to friend you. Regret friending people you actually dislike.
8. Count your number of friends. Check the number of friends your friends have. If they have more than you, wonder who has chosen not to friend you.
9. Invent alibis to prove that the drunk/stoned/partially-dressed person in the photograph that your friend uploaded is not you. Hope that Facebook has some kind of policy against naked photos.
10. Hate the people who have statuses like, "John just got off the airport in Paris!" "Susie is drinking mai tais in Hong Kong!" "Jennifer is spending her paycheck at Prada!" Pretend that they are faking, and are actually wasting time at work inventing fascinating and suggestive things to enter as their statuses.
I've put this off long enough. It's time to write about my New Year's resolutions, with the hope that committing them to . . . well, the equivalent of paper . . . that I might stick to some. As follows:
1. Write at least one post to this blog per week. 2. Work out at least four times a week, with some time spent on weights; consider signing up for an athletic class at Linfield. 3. Go out to dinner at least one night of each month with friends. 4. Try out one new technology each month. 5. Eat more fruit and vegetables. 6. Find a drink. 7. Stand up straight. 8. Become less consumed with challenges, problems and criticisms; also, assume less that all problems are my fault.
But here's the question. If I get to December 31, 2009 and I have completed each of these goals, will I be a different person? At what point in time will I feel that I'm accomplished enough to safely get older?
1. Choosing a nail salon where the staff speaks a language that is not your primary language is critical. Not only are you not forced into a conversation you're too tired to have, you don't feel humiliated when the technician shouts to her colleague, "Hey! This woman has Hobbit feet!" However, when she shakes her head and repairs to the supply room for special tools, you get the idea.
2. It's apparently possible to have a tense ass. The hydrolic massage chair, which made a noise like a steam engine every twenty seconds, had a "butt" setting that repeatedly lifted and dropped me about three inches throughout the pedicure. It also squeezed from side to side. Not sure what this accomplished.
3. The massage chair requires unsually good timing and balance if you want to also drink your coffee.
4. It's possible to want your face to look as good as your feet.
I work as a development officer for annual giving for the University of st Andrews in St Andrews, Scotland, where I live with my husband and soon (hopefully) with my dog Murray. I write two blogs, From Salem to St Andrews and Celiac by Marriage.