hey facebook: speaking of "liars."

so, the kids that recently got pwned by AdRants got me thinking. i started reading their community blog, Our American Shelf Life, which is basically blog posts updating their personal use and thoughts surrounding social media (facebook, twitter, even 'old school' stuff like aim and msn. icq anyone? oh no.)

anyway, this post got me thinking. i don't perceive there being a huge age gap between myself and those bloggers; i think i am older than some, and younger than at least one. point being? is it a year-gap thing... or were my friends just jaded from the get-go?

let me back up.

it's established, both in academia and in digital sense, that we choose to craft ourselves online. sometimes to reflect ourselves 'more accurately' than in the day-to-day, and sometimes to recreate according to what we'd like to be. (more, if you didn't already agree? danah boyd)

what makes you think Facebook is not an extension of that?

i allow that due to popularity, friends might keep other friends 'in check' if one profile is too inauthentic, too 'crafted'--too fake or untrue to the person. yet that only applies if the friends themselves aren't in on it, or don't also find it amusing. (communication and procrastination, the lofty goals of social networks.)

case in point, Facebook dating, as described in the ASL post.

except, my school was one of the first 50, if not fewer, to be added to Facebook. i'd wager 20, but my memory isn't that good. when we got to put up that much revealing information, we were all a bit taken aback. skeptically, we asked ourselves why we would want to declare whomever as our significant other. ...didn't we--and our friends--already know that?

this gave rise to many hilarious antics. fake profiles, real profiles with fake dates... people were 'married' left and right--and not even to people they were truly dating! often, to people it would have been 'funny' to date. my best friend (hetero, in a relationship at the time, actress) was Facebook wives with our stage manager friend (who is a lesbian) because it had been a theater joke.

Facebook marriage, and, consequently, Facebook dating status, became a farce in many of our minds. i don't know exactly when this changed, but i can speculate:

i think it had to do with the live feeds.

before, only people who visited your profile actively knew who you were dating. with live broadcast, things became more serious. people you barely knew who followed your updates could start asking why you and X broke up, or how mean you were for doing it, or how sad they were--when you weren't even truly dating X. the awkwardness abounded. it forced into truth so at least you had answers when stalkers came knocking--or you took your marital status down altogether.

so to the kids who take it seriously and wind up finding out their relationship has been "cancelled" before their partner informs them face-to-face: ...man, i'm sorry. lighten up, go 'marry' your hs gym teacher's daughter.

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