Friday, May 14, 2010

Cardboard cutouts

Maybe Facebook isn't the best place to let your guard down. Keep it simple. Stay close to the surface. Most people are happier if expectations are kept to a minimum. The more savvy among us do something like this: they trot out cardboard cutouts of themselves, with seemingly endless supplies of shallow status updates and photo albums highlighting the stuff they've consumed. They spotlight solely on their lifestyle, never revealing a single insight into what makes them tick or what makes them feel vulnerable.

Try it. This will be best for everyone. Here's how:
  • Old friends will conclude you've done well for yourself, and be happy for your success in life. This is ideal because, as it turns out, you'll probably never (ever) be in the same room with any of these friends again.
  • New friends will bask in the glow of your awesomeness, and feel that little extra euphoria from knowing they chose wisely when they chose you. And further, this is the shiny surface with which you can explore the shallow depths together. You'll have new best friends in no time.
  • Former friends of a wide and varying ilk will envy your sparkly awesomeness when confronted with its magnitude. They already hated you; no biggie. Now, with very little effort on your part, you've confirmed all over again why they hate you.
This is one way to treat your friends. It's not your fault Facebook took what essentially amounts to a one or a zero in a database field and concluded friendship. They could've went with "associate" or "acquaintance" or "chum" or "well-wisher" or "cohort" or "buddy."

But they chose "friend."

And it's clear, the cardboard cutout route isn't cutout for friendship.