As it stands, my social networking career came to fruition and subsequently peaked with Myspace. For this reason, I use as much room in this weekly column talking about the rotting News Corp carcass as I can, constantly reliving my heyday as a late-blooming web queen. Of course I have moved on -- initially begrudgingly -- to Facebook. While Facebook sucked most of the voyeuristic fun out of profile perusing, it has led to a new phenomenon: Discriminate adding.
No longer can one plow through other people's friends, befriending whomever they choose. No, no. Facebook shows too much connectivity (or a lack there of) and frankly, if I don't know you, I won't add you. I don't care if we went to the same high school -- I graduated in 1998 and chances are you were a jerk to me because I had pink hair or I have no idea who you are. Similarly, if at the present time we frequent the same white people brunch spots or go to the same shows, that doesn't mean we know each other. This isn't Myspace. My rule is if I've never actually met you, I probably won't add you.
I realize this may be an archaic approach, much like my desire to sign every piece of Internet correspondence with "xo b." At this stage in the game, if you send someone a message in an internet-based capacity, it is like a text message. You don't have to sign it. (There are two exceptions to this rule: Moms, because my mom likes to sign her texts "yer mom," and your drug dealer/DJ/generally shady friends, who have an automatic text signature because they mass text the crap out of people all the time and like to forward stupid sayings that read like inspirational Walmart home decor with emoticons all over it.)
I don't look at social networking as a "network" or "networking tool" to begin with. People who think networking is an actual business-savvy method of scoring a cool job are the people who have LinkedIn accounts. LinkedIn is boring. And stupid. It has no space for funny pictures, and no one likes looking at anything on the Internet without funny pictures. To me, social networking is a game, and currently, within my social network, I win at Facebook everyday.
How does one win at Facebook? It's easy. You just spend as much time as possible on the Internet, trolling for funny GIFs to make others LOL, stalking the shit out of your ex-boyfriends' girlfriends/wives and tweeting about every fantastic cupcake snack and Mexican food-induced shit while writing FB status updates that clearly say to your immediate world, hey, "I am one clever fucker!"
Why would you want to spend twelve hours a day winning at Facebook? Because you can. If you work in an office that hasn't blocked FB yet, then you should absolutely be trying to out-awesome all of your friends, cousins and three-jobs-ago coworkers with the best videos of people falling down and links to Tumblrs chock full of GIFs of animals being jerks. Points for winningest FB users can also be accrued according to how many comments you can receive on a post, or how many fights you can spark between total strangers (this works best for folks who like to post politically-charged or more subversive news links. Or people who have friends that are openly Christian).
Soon, people will either be praising your ability to be the Facebook highlights champ, or they will be deleting you because your posts clog their news feed and subsequently their ability to see updates of new photos of their sister's neighbor's baby that was born six minutes ago.
As a Facebook winner myself, you may be wondering why I would be discerning in my friend choices. After all, the more friends you have on Facebook, the more chances you have to win at Facebook, right? Absolutely. But if I don't wield my power to choose people's popularity, where is the illusion of control over my own Internet domain?
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I might give my social security number to some random shoe warehouse website in order to get the best deal on the embarassing Crocs ballet flats I "buy for work," but hell if the dude who was my boyfriend in 8th grade's best friend is going to be my friend on Facebook before properly introducing himself to me in person.
Unless he's cute. Then I will add him.