Tuesday, February 17

Less Than 25 Random Reasons I Am Responding to The Backlash to The Facebook 25 Random Things Meme

1) This has now been covered by the New York Times, USAToday and the Washington Post.  Most likely tons of other places.  It was talked about on The Take Away on NPR yesterday.  Really, news media?  There is nothing more important out there?
2) I encourage anything that gets people writing.
3)  Yes, some people share too much of themselves on the internet.  I am not sure why this is a surprise at this point.
4) Different people approach their lists in different ways.  Some comically, some serious.  Variety makes life fun.
5) Sometimes truth is in the banal specifics of one's life.
6) There are things about people (and myself) that are a interesting in tiny ways but would NEVER come up in a regular conversation.
7) If you don't want to read them, you don't have to... every if they tagged you.  Yes.  It is true.
8) Sometimes there are big ugly truths that you aren't ashamed of but would be awkward to reveal in normal conversation.
9) To condemn a meme (or even the internet) for people talking about themselves is silly.  Yes, if someone out there thinks this is the way to become famous, that is stupid.  It's just a touch of sharing.
10) You do not have to write one yourself.  Just because you've been tagged, you are under no obligation, social or otherwise, to comply.  Are there actually people out there doing this?  I would have thought that by now, we would have all figured out that one fact about the internet out.  You do NOT have to respond to chain letters.  You do NOT have to send money to a Nigerian prince. You do NOT have to go the Thank You, Robot's 2nd Anniversary Show at midnight this Friday at the UCB Theater (but you should).
11) Facebook, MySpace, blog, the internet in general can be used how you want to.  You are not required to blog, twittr, tumbl, GPS your phone.  And if you do, you can post/use it how you want to.  Share, mock, whatever.  The tendency to see social downfall in a simple writing exercise is somewhat reactionary.  Yes, the world is changing... because we have more options.
12) It's a meme.  It will be gone in a few weeks.  Then there will be a new one.
13) I do find the growth of meme like this one interesting.  For whatever reason, my extended family and college friends have flocked to Facebook in the last few months.  There was a tiny critical mass of cultural acceptability or some such that I find curious.
14) What makes the "25 Thing" meme popular is that it is simple and quick and open ended.
15) If you don't want people who you don't really know tagging you in these things (1) unfriend people you don't really know or (2) change your settings.
16) FB is a tool.  Learn to use it.  Or don't use it.  It is also free.
17) I am a cranky man who mainly gets crank about other people being cranky.