Now that I’ve been tagged in at least twenty-five “25 Random Things About Me” notes on Facebook, I’ve made a few observations:
1. Most people can’t think of 25 interesting things to say about themselves, including me.
2. When I posted my 25 things, I tried to come up with things that very few people would have reason to know about me. I thought they were pretty cool. Like the thing about how i got my finger tip chopped off in the 5th grade. Neat!
3. The things most people think are interesting about themselves might just be the most boring.
4. For example: “I have lived in every state that starts with the letter A.” (Fascinating. That tells me so much about you!)
5. “I think Prop 8 should be overturned by the California Supreme Court!” (that’s great! everyone agrees with you on that one).
6. “My favorite color is _______”
7. “I love…” or “I hate…” [insert thing here that lots of people love or hate]
8. The thing about my finger tip being chopped off? Not that interesting. Doesn’t tell you anything about me except that I’m slightly deformed.
9. The most embarrassing thing i wrote in my 25 Things? “I cannot stand chardonnay.” Really? Did i just say that? All that tells you is that I think I have impeccable taste in wine. Ew.
10. My 25 Things tell you that i really like drawing attention to myself. That coloring my hair, being on TV, and talking to celebrities is important to me. I’m not proud of this.
11. Cheers to those of you who put a lot of thought in your 25 Things. Thank you. Even if many of them are not that interesting, your 25 things do tell me a lot about you.
12. For example: Are you a good writer?
13. And did you spend a whole day writing your note, as evidenced by the complete paragraphs attached to each number, with subsections and headings?
14. What KINDS of things did you write about – the origins of your political activism? things that are more about your mother than they are about you? superficial facts, or things that give us a glimpse into you psyche? I want to know your hopes and fears, quirky habits that tell me Who You Are.
15. Just as interesting: Who did you tag in your note, and how many of those people do I know?
16. Do I know YOU that well?
17. And if I don’t, I’m really flattered that you tagged me. I think it means I’m a person you want to get to know better. Or maybe there’s something in your note that you think would resonate with me and perhaps strengthen our friendship. Cool.
17. Did you number your paragraphs correctly?
19. Did you clearly stretch out your 25 Things by listing a few things twice, stated slightly differently?
20. Or did you have so much to say about yourself that you had to include 28 things? 35?
21. The “25 Things” phenomenon clearly indicates that many of us are craving a deeper connection to our friends through the internet tubes. In the words of my friend Patty, we are all just yearning to know and to be known.
22. Don’t get me wrong; FB has done a great job of splitting your relationships down to atom-sized memes in the form of pokes and updates, enabling you to keep track of 1360 friends instantly and at the same time. It’s a panacea for those of us who love to network.
23. BUT – it may also have made some of our friendships more shallow because it’s so easy to keep track of someone without even contacting them.
24. I went to dinner with someone the other night who argued passionately that the “25 Things” phenomenon was pointless navel-gazing, that no one is actually out there reading all of these notes.
25. He’s wrong; I’m reading them. Keep em coming.