Friday, September 19, 2008

Facebook Gets Personal

You might think that Facebook is just a harmless, time-sucking, social networking hub. A place to show your 'profile' to all your friends and, consequently, the world. It's an opportunity to assert your identity, 'application' choices notwithstanding.

But these days, Facebook is getting personal in a way that is pretty hard to escape. Yes, for the most part, you can choose to participate in Facebook madness on a fairly superficial level: no "What Disney Character Am I" quizzes or paying actual money for virtual confections and other trinkets. But ever since they launched this 'Compare People' contraption, no one is safe.

Here's the rub: even if you don't spend hours comparing others on topics such as who has a better body, who's more successful, or who would you rather date--others are comparing you. I'd be fine with it, just so long as I don't have to know about it. But just wait...

Low and behold, I get these handy little updates in my email alerting me about my up-to-the-minute rankings on the sliding scale of my general sphere of influence. Let me tell you, Saint Peter himself could not resist falling down that little rabbit hole. I'll confess, y'all...I clicked.

Apparently, my strengths--according to the poll--include 'Best Singer', 'Most Kiss-able', and 'Best Shopping Companion'. (I was choir president and quite the fashionista in high school, don't judge.) But apparently, the consensus is that my weaknesses refer to my athleticism and my over all happiness! Okay, I already knew that I'm no Marion Jones. But apparently, people think I'm not happy. Period. Wha?

I'm sorry, but since when did we stop comparing people in the privacy of our subconscious and start doing so publicly via the World Wide Web? If this is not a sign of cultural decline, I don't know what is. And if anyone knows how to turn off those licentious updates, please do tell.

Is anyone else a little offended by this or am I overly sensitive?


Paula said...

I can see what you mean, but on the upside, those are quite flattering strengths which have been attributed to you! I keep getting ranked things like 17th funniest out of all my friends, which seems fairly insulting, cos I don't have that many friends on there!

Kate said...

I know, right? Facebook is going down hill...