CONS AND PROS OF FACEBOOK, PART TWO
CON: The horoscope, the honesty box, the movies, the music, the graffiti....good lord, where will it all end? A facebook page has now become the modern-day equivalent of stickers on a binder. Having one or two stickers on your binder back in grade school was virtually obligatory -- it made it stand out, and added a bit of personal spark. My own grade school binder had a 1991 All-Star Game sticker, which was clearly the coolest decal of the bunch. But there were always a few people who went overboard. Their binders were covered from spine to edge with every piece of shiny crap you could imagine. If held at the right angle outdoors, the glare off the plastic sheen could blind jet passengers. I'm likewise blinded by an overloaded Facebook page that has more gadgets and foo-fraws than a NASCAR driver's jumpsuit. How bizarre is it that there now exists a 'back in my day...' subclass of Facebook users who just have the standard mini-feed, photo albums and information on their profiles? I feel like one of those people in 2002 who was still using ICQ.
My personal favourite is the 'list your top friends' feature. I wonder how many friendships have been harmed in the few short weeks since Facebook brought this puppy into the fold. Imagine learning that one of your alleged best friends didn't put you into their top list. Or, perhaps even worse, that some sketchy character you don't even like considers you a top friend, and thus you're put in the awkward position of having to hand out a snub yourself. Rating your friends is never a good idea unless it's for a specific purpose. For example, my friends and I have an ongoing competition to see who will be the best man at each other's respective weddings. A particularly good act of friendship can be crucial to earning these Best Man Points, while a thoughtless act can lead to points being deducted. It's not unlike the Hogwarts points system. At press time, I think I'm currently in the lead for at least one best man duty, so on the plus side, the groom will be getting a funny speech. On the downside, he may not be crazy about his stag party being held at Burger King. BUT I HAVE COUPONS!
PRO: I'm not sure if this is a pro, per se. It's more neutral or just an observation, if anything. I cannot for the life of me pick out a pattern in the 'here are six friends' display on one's main Facebook profile page. At first I thought it was a list of the last six people who had been on your page, but after a few page refreshes, that was discovered to be untrue. I actually spent a whole half-hour one afternoon trying to discern this --- in a related story, I'm single. I kind of like this randomness. It helps me remember certain people that I haven't talked to or even thought about in ages. I click on my Facebook page and up pops Tom Stone (fake name), and I think 'Oh yeah, old Tom is on my friends list. I wonder what he's up to? Let's go over to his page and find out....oh, look at this, Tom got a sex change and moved to Kansas. How about that.' That's a somewhat extreme example, since I doubt any sex-change recipient would travel to that bastion of conservative thought known as Kansas. Though Dorothy did want to get back there pretty badly, and Judy Garland ended up being a gay icon, so who knows.