Facecreeping. Creeping people’s Facebooks. We all do it, despite my spell check’s refusal to acknowledge its existence. We’ve all found ourselves, at some point or another, listlessly scrolling through someone’s photos as we foster some vague emotion. It’s 2011, come on, we’re all just looking at what everyone else is doing as it pops up on our news feeds. Unless, of course, you don’t have a Facebook and are soooo mature and above the temptation of peeking into others’ lives and sneaking around digital corners–in which case you are probably too busy adopting African children and smelling your own farts to know what I’m talking about. Go away. This is for those of us who creep.
1. Pretty Girl: Pretty girl is so pretty. I’m not even jealous at this point, really. It’s just a benign, bewildered fascination–she’s like a zoo animal. She’s just so beautiful; she must walk around with her own lighting crew and retoucher. There is seriously not one unflattering photo tagged of her. If we hung out (which we don’t, really, because pretty girl is always an acquaintance), it would be my life’s work to take a photo where she looks like she has a double chin. Why can’t pretty girl be a raging bitch so I could hate her? Why must she be so nice and inoffensive? Shouldn’t there be a limit to how many “OMG YOU LOOK SO PRETTY!!!” “GORG” and “Will u stop being so beautiful for like two seconds plz thanks” comments one person can accrue? Ugh, I’m gonna go eat a box of Swiss Cake Rolls and cry.
2. Super Successful Friend: Ooooh, look at you. You’re going to Harvard Law School and you work out all the time and you interned at your uncle’s super fancy office. Look at how early you get up and how many interesting things you do in your spare time. Look at how many cures you’re running for. That’s cool, I’m doing lots of interesting things, too. I’m totally going to be on the cover of Forbes by the time I’m 30, too. Oh, you just mastered the saxophone in your spare time and teach English to orphans in Ethiopia? That’s not even a big deal, though, because I just got a futon in my apartment. You know what that is? It’s a couch that turns into a bed, bro. I know, I know, humblebrag.
3. My ex: Facebook’s sole mission, its “Purpose” in the abstract sense of the word, its contribution to human advancement, is looking pictures of people you banged after you stop banging them. We must look like cavemen, sitting at our computers with this slightly indignant, confused expression on our faces as we look at photos and the animal part of our brain goes, “You mate with this person. This person mate with new person. Must spray with urine. Must mark territory.” Even people you don’t care about in the least anymore, even people you’re totally over, still have this bizarre draw on your attention. “What are they doing…? Oh, that. I mildly disapprove. Mehhhhh. Meh.”
4. That Couple: I personally don’t like the idea of even putting a relationship status on Facebook, if only to avoid the outpouring of people you don’t really talk to you asking you what happened the day you break up. “HEY OMG I SAW U GUYS TOTES DIDN’T WORK OUT LEMME RUB SALT IN THE WOUND WUT HAPPENEDDDD” is a phrase I feel confident that I could live without. But for those that take pleasure in the little “In A Relationship With” thing and the easy access to the other person’s profile, more power to you. That being said, if you are the kind of couple that expresses your love regularly over Facebook, you serve as nothing more than a cautionary tale for What Not To Be When You Fall In Love. I have this morbid curiosity about the young, attractive, formerly interesting friends I have who have given both their digital and real-life entities over to being one half of Shmoopsy Boogles or whatever they publicly call each other. No, no, no, no. It’s like an accident I can’t look away from. And the same rule applies when you people spawn–awkward pregnancy photos are only fodder for people ogling in a “Yikes, they couldn’t have sprung for a decent Sears portrait?” kinda way. Avoid.
5. Train Wreck Guy: I feel like a decent 25 percent of my Facebook friends are just one long “What the hell happened to that guy?” question in human form. I have Facebook friends who are twice-married at 22, openly using heavy amounts of cocaine, moving to central Florida (shudder), in and out of jail, and clearly slipping quickly into alcoholism. It’s so weird being able to see these people into their descent into madness. Usually we wouldn’t catch up with these people until we saw a blurry naked man jumping a fence on COPS and muttered to ourselves about how familiar he looks. Now we get to watch their absurdity from start to (rehab or jail) finish.
But I guess that’s the whole point of social media–it asks us if we want to keep in touch with people, we shrug and say, “Yeah, okay, that sounds cool.” Social media laughs derisively, cracks its knuckles, and fills our lives with obsessive minutia about people we should have never stayed in contact with until we can’t tell who we’re actually friends with anymore. Sounds about right.