I used to be the queen of the Facebook status, delighting in crafting witty little phrases to attach to “Joy Moyal is…” so that they piqued interest (and maybe triggered some harmless jealousy) in my “friends.” But suddenly I was struck by the inanity of it all. I know that last sentence sounded completely pompous, and maybe it is. But after reading this article, in which the author calls Facebook a “monument to mediocrity,” I felt prickly and ashamed. Another quote sliced through my lameness like a ginsu knife:
“Facebook complicates our lives. Yet prurient voyeurism and wanton exhibitionism keeps us hooked, and so, day by day, we log on, hungry for more low-grade banter and drunken photo antics.”
Not so much the stuff about wanton exhibitionism, but the line about low-grade banter. Ouch. The guy mocks the mind-numbingly dull status updates that are posted every five minutes, and that’s where he really got me. Yesterday I found myself receiving one “friend”‘s Blackberry updates every hour about his delayed flights from North Carolina. Why am I even reading this??? I must face the fact that the reverse is true, as well: those witty little lines of mine are just more visual clutter that my friends really don’t need to waste even three seconds of their time reading.
I also realized something last night: it’s mostly my single friends who are the most active status updaters. As I drove home from a friend’s house and a new Weezer song came on the radio, I found myself thinking, “Since when do I like anything Weezer puts out?” And immediately I thought to use that as a status update. Why? Because I didn’t have anyone sitting in the car next to me to express my thought to. If I did, I wouldn’t have felt the need to cast out my opinion (or tragedy, or triumph, or little mundane happening from the day) to all of my “friends” like a net and see who I caught based on responding wall posts.
So I’m done with status updates. For the most part. I’m not going to make some crazy vow that I will NEVER post a status update again. If I have something really witty or self-promoting to write, I will. I actually thought about writing “Joy Moyal wants you to read her blog about status updates: http://www.netanya.wordpress.com” but the line between irony and absurdity was just a bit too fine.