And it’s so gently unsettling that now, for the first time in human history, we have this funny, innocent little peephole into the lives of others. An acquaintance, an old flame, in any other period of history, would have faded away just as quickly as they came–now, they are here indefinitely. They linger on the bottom of our screens, they pop up in our news feeds, they are still here.
I am the internet. I am anything to everyone everywhere. I am a mass channel for organizing a cultural revolution in Iran and finding a free ottoman on Craigslist. If I had a status update it would be, “So busy today,” and it would actually be true, unlike you.
Given my social networking experience, which is extensive, I see a lot of status updates on Facebook. Without belaboring the point, here are the five most annoying categories of status updates, counting down to the single most upchuck-reflex inducing bile that gets spewed, Team America style, all over my newsfeed.
Every minute that passes is an insult. Every email someone opens before they send a reply to yours is a blatant statement that your concerns are not as pressing, and your (digital) presence not as compelling…
Probably neither of those. We define ourselves through our relations to other people. We are mother, husband, lover, sister, teacher, friend, son, enemy. Without links to other people, we disintegrate. We need anchors to society. To label someone is not to negate them. Even derogatory labels, whilst unpleasant, acknowledge a place in society, somewhere to belong. An identity.
How to be an Artist: Start an Etsy ‘store.’ Draw small robots, animals or ‘things’ on printer paper. Add minimal color using the markers you used in grade school. These drawings’ overarching theme should be one of ‘cuteness’ or ‘twee.’ Frame these drawings and list them on Etsy for $20 a piece. Facebook status update that you’ve “finally” started an Etsy page “so [you] can FINALLY start selling [your] art.”
At parties: Feel a tingling sensation in your thumb, begging you to refresh your feeds during every awkward moment. Feel a strong inclination to whip out your phone during any silence that lasts over ~1.5 seconds. Find that you can usually fight the urge, but instinctually check FB and Twitter when conversations cease and you’re unsure of whom to mingle with next.
Needledicking: Making direct contact with a person of higher online social standing within a given community with no fixed intentions or propositions – mainly (merely) to say what’s up or indicate approval of “what they are doing” – under the impression that said action may result in unforeseen future benefit. Eg: “Biches are needledicking my fake Bill Gates account…”
Jeffree Star may have very well been someone’s AB once upon a time; but at the peak of his MySpace fame he more closely resembled the Barbie’s World equivalent of Marilyn Manson. His pink hair and glittery persona was all Babs, but the “I removed my bottom ribs to perform oral sex on myself” look was totally Marilyn.
Bumper Stickers: A trend I remember fondly. At one point in college, I had five female roommates. The six of us would sit in the same room in complete silence and either waste hours battling on Scrabulous.com or sending each other Bumper Stickers. I only permitted Bumper Stickers from Someecards to remain on my page.