I try not to give Facebook too much thought, which is difficult, as it caters to my shifty, flakey, shiny brain. A brain that is curious about the inane, and indifferent to most things meaningful. I was proud of myself for leaving my original (or maybe one generation down from the original) list of interests, movies, music, etc. virtually untouched for years. (I can say years because I joined Facebook in early 2005, when it was all college students and unsolicited poking.)
However, given the new format of the “info” page – with its word bubbles, links and pictures, I was forced to reevaluate my idealized self. Or, to be more accurate, I was forced to reevaluate my self-effacing self, which is actually a palatable version of my idealized self. But the thing is, Facebook now forces you to choose for a menu of sorts. And that is where I ran into trouble. Mostly in the activities category.
I can’t legitimately say that just plain “reading” is an activity for me. Reading is an accomplishment. “Starting a book” or “Reading half of a book” – those are my activities. But Facebook doesn’t recognize those choices (although it did give me the option of “functional illiteracy”).
I also tried to choose “microwaving” and ended up settling for “defrosting.” Not the same, but it least it has a picture (the glaring white insides of an empty refrigerator).
There are nine other people interested in defrosting, which is kind of sad and intimate. Brought together by compromise, torn apart by warmth.
Friday, May 14, 2010
I have long been a self-analyzer, a self-diagnoser, a self-helper. Not a hypochondriac, it's not the same thing. But whereas Matt can stand by in the face of a potential malady and let nature take its course, I cannot. I have to be doing something. I have to know that should I one day fall prey to an illness, a mental breakdown, a marinara stain on a white tablecloth, at least I've done everything in my power to fix it.
Of course, when I say everything in my power, I mean that I Google the crap out of it. But herein lies the problem. Because most intelligent people will Google a problem once or twice before moving on to more effective solutions. They call doctors. They consult real people with faces and voices. They figure their shit out and move on with life. The remaining people sort of get sifted to the bottom of the search result pile. It's a scary place that smells like Funions and hairspray.
The bottom of the pile is where people go when a neglected cockatoo has eaten their fingers, preventing them from dialing 911. Where pregnant middle-schoolers with iPhones go. Where people with shotgun wounds go to find out if some leftover bathtub caulking will stop the bleeding. The inquiries are thrown out into cyberspace and left hanging until someone equally clueless replies, weeks later, after the caulking falls off and the infection sets in. Needless to say, no one can help you here. They will only feed your paranoia, suggest dangerous home remedies, and do it all without using a single vowel.
The cure? Ignore or treat. Don't Google a symptom more than three times. And don't, whatever you do, put your fingers in the cage.