I google myself at least once a day (out of caution, not vanity), but if you don’t scour the Internets for me that often, dear reader, then you may not realize I just got a Facebook two weeks ago. As with puberty, I arrived at Facebook much later than the rest of my peers. Facebook’s popularity, along with Shia LaBeouf’s, peaked when I was in seventh grade, only to decline in the face of hipper platforms like Snapchat that quickly and “permanently” delete our sitting-nude-on-the-toilet selfies (I got a Snapchat a long time ago, believe me). But I love Facebook, and I’m so glad I finally decided to take that leap of faith and make one. Now if I could just lose my virginity, I’d be a normal college student.
I had several very legitimate reasons for abstaining from Facebook for so long. First of all, I don’t trust Mark Zuckerberg, not because he went to Harvard, but because I’m not sure why he wants to know so much deeply personal information, such as my musical preferences. What are you going to do with that, Mark? Sell it to the NSA? Furthermore, I formerly held social media users in contempt. Them posers just want attention, I thought, what with their nutritional supplements, inspirational minion memes and belated condolences for celebrity deaths. But then I realized that I desperately crave attention myself, so much so that I regularly write vulgar, incendiary and slanderous columns for the News (they’re very popular among middle-aged suburban women). I could do the same thing on Facebook, but without heeding the basic rules of English grammar! That’s right … I can … use … ellipses …… And apparently those of us who don’t have a Facebook are now regarded in a manner similar to that of the neighborhood sex offender – people greet us reluctantly because something is just a little off.
So, in short, I made a Facebook because I want people to love me. The side effect of this, of course, is that I’m now much easier to cyberstalk. To be honest, this was probably my real reason for getting a Facebook. I fretted constantly that some beautiful woman was out there (probably named Scarlett), admiring me from afar, and, in attempting to glean information about me from the Internet, could only find my Goodreads account (a wonderful social media site for book lovers, in case you don’t know). I especially worried she would read the scathing review of Herman Hesse’s “Steppenwolf” I wrote as a high school freshman, in which I unfavorably compared the novel to my flatulence before launching into a long rant about how “Tosh.0” is way better than literature. To prevent this cyberstalking disaster from occurring, I had to make a Facebook and fill it with shirtless selfies in which I flex my pectorals as my phone’s flash shines in the mirror like a beacon of romance.
After I made my Facebook, my mom texted me, “Wow, I can’t believe how many friends you have.” I’m not sure how to interpret that, although I do think 185 friends is a very impressive total. But I never realized how loosely people interpret the word “friend.” For example, one complete rando sent me a friend request. While I’m fascinated by all the organic teeth whitening strips Spicy General hawks on her Facebook page, I unfortunately do not consider her a friend seeing as the only thing we have in common is that we both live in San Antonio, Texas, along with roughly 1.4 million other people who are also not my friends. I’m more of an originalist when it comes to interpreting what Mark Zuckerberg meant when he created the friend feature. Because of this, to be my friend, both on Facebook and in real life, you have to 1) laugh at my jokes, 2) laugh more at my jokes and 3) keep laughing at my jokes. If you don’t meet all of these criteria, then I’m afraid you’ll have to settle for occasionally typing my name into the home page’s search bar and wondering how you can possibly get closer to me. The answer, of course, is that you should say nice things to me and pretend that the dick jokes I make aren’t tasteless (don’t worry, there’s one coming up, if you really want to impress me).
Moreover, Facebook is a better self-esteem booster than rigorous exercise, positive self-talk or even crack cocaine. Forty-three people liked my profile picture, which I interpreted as their way of saying that they think I’m really handsome and they’ve secretly had a crush on me since like fifth grade but they didn’t want to say anything because my voice is so deep and my jawline is damn near perpendicular. I’ve always vaguely suspected that I was that person who, as One Direction put it, doesn’t know they’re beautiful. Now I swagger about, confident that I am indeed a raw, bloody piece of meat just waiting to be seared by the lustful gaze of every woman I meet.
The only downside is that scrolling through Facebook has now replaced masturbation as the number one thing I do when I’m bored (reading The New York Times is a close third). I’ve watched at least 30 videos of baby hippos over the past week. I even clicked on one article that promised “You Will Never See Julia Roberts The Same Way Again,” though a more appropriate title would’ve been “You Will Never See Julia Roberts Again As You Click Through This Hellish 130-Page Slideshow of Paparazzi Photos of Macaulay Culkin.”
Despite some fiends taking advantage of my naivety, my experience with Facebook has been so overwhelmingly positive that I’m now even considering getting an Instagram, or at the very least a Pinterest. As for you, dear reader, if you don’t have a Facebook, I implore you to get one. And if you already have one, then please, for the love of God, send me a friend request and don’t be afraid to poke me.
Contact Joshua Baize at firstname.lastname@example.org.