Because every damn time I signed on to Facebook, my feed went like this:
[Girl you found distasteful in high school]: Has posted pictures from her wedding!
Click here to view her photos, while wondering if perhaps you misjudged her, back in the day. Find photos distasteful, even for wedding photos. Feel slightly depressed, if also vindicated.
[Person you barely talk to who lives in a different city]: Is home from work!
[Guy you had several ill-advised hookups with three years ago]: Has compared you to his other friends!
Click here if you find this somehow enraging. Click around some more, trying to figure out whom you have been compared with, but give up after a few minutes. Feel somehow violated.
[Girl you know through an ex-boyfriend]: Is a fan of “Bill Withers”.
[Person you barely talk to who lives in a different city]: Is cooking dinner!
[Girl you were good friends with in 7th grade and haven’t talked to since then]: Has sent you a friend request!
Click here to accept her request with enthusiasm.
Click here to send a message to this girl, summarizing what you have been up to for the last fifteen years, and asking what she is up to in return. Wait weeks, but never receive a response. Wonder why you even bothered. Feel slightly irritated every time you notice that she is constantly on Facebook.
[Person you barely talk to who lives in a different city]: Hates morning commutes!
[Ex Boyfriend you are no longer in touch with]: Has left a comment on the photo of [some girl you don’t know].
Click here, despite your better judgment, to read the comment and look at the photo of the girl, so you can see if she is prettier than you. Decide that she looks kind of dull and is probably not as funny as you either. Wonder why you even care? Feel animosity towards Ex Boyfriend for no definable reason.
[Girl you like but haven’t talked to in years]: Has thrown an apple at you!
Click here to pointlessly ‘throw’ a random object back at her in lieu of meaningful communication.
[Person you barely talk to who lives in a different city]: Is listening to a great album!
[Hipster you are vaguely acquainted with and were always a little scornful of]: Has posted pictures from the album “Amazing Wild New Year’s Blowout Party that was Full of Sexy Hipsters Who Are Cooler than You”.
Click here to view the album. Judge all of the people in it because they are mugging at the camera and attempting to look sexy. Also, everyone is drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon and wearing trucker hats. Tell yourself you would rather have spent New Year’s Eve at home on your couch, which is good because that’s what happened. Feel slightly bad about yourself for unexplainable reason.
[Person you barely talk to who lives in a different city]: Is a fan of “Pastrami”.
Click here if you are also a fan of “Pastrami”, because the zany, eclectic things we express fondness for help define us to others.
[Random dude you worked with two jobs ago]: Has given you a Martini!
Click here to ‘give’ a ‘drink’ to [Random Dude you worked with two jobs ago], because that constitutes rewarding social interaction or something.
[Person you barely talk to who lives in a different city]: Loves Grey’s Anatomy!
[Girl whom you vaguely recall got married right out of college]: Is now listed as ‘Single’.
Feel overwhelmingly curious and slightly appalled that this information was posted on Facebook and now as a result you are pointlessly aware of it.
[Girl who you shared some classes with in college]: Has tagged herself in a photo!
Click here to view the photo and note that while it is flattering, it also looks very little like how you remember the girl actually looking.
[Person you barely talk to who lives in a different city]: Is hungry!
[Person you don’t know]: Has left a comment on the status of [Girl whom you vaguely recall got married right out of college and is now apparently single]: “Hey! What happened?”
Feel even more appalled that someone would publicly post a brief, impersonal question like that; do they really expect an answer? Well, maybe. After all, what does [Girl who used to be married] expect, after announcing her singleness on Facebook? Begin feeling ill about the whole scenario.
[Guy you are vaguely acquainted with]: is listed as “In a Relationship” with [Girl you have met twice].
Feel faintly surprised at the match, but mostly indifferent. Wonder how [Guy] and [Girl] decided that their relationship had reached the critical “Change Your Facebook Status” level. Speculate as to whether they discussed whether or not to change their Facebook statuses at the same time, and, if not, wonder which of them did it first, and if the one who did it first worried that the other one would feel that it had been done prematurely. Feel slightly depressed by this train of thought.
[Guy you were close to in college but haven’t seen in five years]: Has sent you an invitation!
Click here for details on this invitation to “An Awesome Show I’m in that is Happening in a City You Haven’t Lived in Since 1999.”
Feel flattered by the invitation, but also confused. You’re probably not going to hop on a plane to see the show of a friend you haven’t spoken with since college. But you still feel too guilty to respond to the invitation with a “No”, so you absurdly put “Maybe”.
[Person you barely talk to who lives in a different city]: is beginning to depress you with their constant updates.
Click here to scan through your Facebook friends and realize that very few of them represent actual, current friendships or even associations that you remotely value. In fact your list of contacts feels like an eerie social graveyard of expired friendships, badly ended relationships, and vague, past acquaintances you care very little about. Begin to feel depressed by the fact that so many people have passed in and out of your life without leaving much of an impression on you. Wonder how a website that is so meaningless, vacuous and shallow has become so overwhelmingly popular (particularly with younger generations), and what that means about how we view social interaction today and the direction in which it is going.
Pour yourself a real, actual drink. Note that you have a closer relationship with Jim Beam than with most of your so-called Facebook friends.