A Guy on Facebook

Is it creepy to write a blog post about somebody's Facebook statuses? Probably.

A guy from my high school recently joined Facebook:

I think we went to school together all the way from Kindergarten to senior year, but I could be wrong about that. One time, in Chemistry class, I remember talking to him and this other guy. I forget how I contributed to the conversation, but the other guy said that he had twelve teeth pulled at one time and this guy (our new Fbook guy) told us that he had technically died three times, and that doctors had to bring him back to life. (And I think he was telling the truth; he had had a childhood illness or something. Or maybe it was somebody else who went to my high school... but I think it was him. I remember being impressed.)

He followed up that post with one that said, "I hope you are ready for a long rambling explanation of who and where I am at." And he includes a long rambling explanation about his height and weight, what he does, what he likes, how he's had problems with dating, how he's unhappy ("I really should shut up and be happy. Instead I fret over stupid shit."), how he doesn't know what to do about it, and he ends with "and the worst part is I feel like this was the short version."

Facebook is generally a place where we advertise ourselves. We don't even take pictures anymore; we shoot ads. I'm happy. I'm playful. I'm in love. I go places. I have lots of friends.

This guy writes things like this:


He talks about all the areas where he thinks he's failing. He calls himself an asshole. He says way too much about his love life, for my taste. He's, like, terrible at marketing.

It could be entirely a persona that he's putting on. Nobody says there is necessarily truth or a lack of manipulation in his "realness." Still, it makes me excited (and sometimes uncomfortable) to see something like it on Facebook. He cannot be the only person in their mid-twenties who feels like they are screwing it all up, like their chances at happiness and actualization are shot. I feel like that. I really feel that.

People talk about "internet communities," and they seem like a great idea, to me, if they can be accomplished. My friends are scattered all over the country (and a few internationally); it's hard to meet new people - to actually connect with people. If the internet was an adequate place for social interaction, it could be great news to lots of folks. And I feel like that sort of community could be possible, if everybody was more like this guy. If people gave you something, on the internet, to connect to. We could all get online and share our humanity.

But that will never happen. I don't think it's how people work. We want too badly to look good, and anyway, the internet is not a safe enough environment for that.

The majority of people's comments to him have been some variation on "be more positive," "you'll find somebody," etc. And I think that the longer he's on Facebook, the more positive his posts will become. The more he'll start to sound like everybody else.

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