Et tu Facebook?

leifinhighschoolI joined Facebook last summer, because many self-absorbed friends had taken to posting their vacation photos on Facebook and only Facebook, so it was either I join or I miss out on photos. (Tip: If you ever want to see any of your friends semi-nude, just ask to see their Burning Man photos. Boioioing!)

But joining doesn’t mean participating, and so I didn’t. I mean really, I’ve got stuff to do over here. I’m already prohibitively preoccupied by email, Google Reader, Twitter and whatever else I can find that doesn’t involve actual work. I’m hanging onto the bare minimum of daily productivity by a slender thread here. No more distractions, thank you.

Peer pressure to flesh out my Facebook page and find friends ensued. I told those people they could take their Facebook and shove it right up their MySpace, because I’m a busy man. Very busy. I have, you know, stuff going on, like constantly. I can’t think of an example right now, but rest assured it’s bedlam.

Last week I caved. My ego couldn’t resist widening the audience of people who have no choice but to read and bask in my idle thoughts and funny pictures. And you know what happened? Pretty much exactly what I predicted would happen. Facebook become a full-time job.

First there was the pictures to upload. The figuring out how to connect the Twitter feed. Then the momentous task of friending everyone I’ve ever met for the past 25 years. With Facebook’s wonky interface, none of this happened in quick fashion. And, though I’m sure this gets easier over time, with the roughly 274 options you have on each page, you can never be quite sure where a link will take you or how to get back to that thing you wanted to look at five hours ago, when you first signed on.

Then you suddenly realize that it’s 2:30pm and you haven’t eaten anything except for that coffee at 8am and your eyes are burning and your brain is scrambled and your work day window is effectively shot.

Now if career-ending non-productivity was the only issue, I might, over time, be able to balance my daily schedule, allowing me to both engage in Facebook play and earn a sustainable income. But there’s an incessant, individual P.R. see-saw that needs to be attended to on Facebook. Namely the damage control and spin required whenever someone from your past decides to get cheeky and post something personally embarrassing, like the above picture of me from a bad hair day from the final days of senior year in high school.  (I’m on the left)

When you think about it, the fallout from regrettable moments dredged up from your past could be potentially ruinous. No one would ever think to do stuff like that to you publicly if it were all happening in person, but since it’s all online, anything goes. The following video, which I found on one of my new friend’s profile page, shows what Facebook in real life might be like. [Those of you reading this with a blog reader, can view the video here]:

I saw that video after I’d spent 12 cumulative hours establishing myself on Facebook and it momentarily made me start searching for the elusive ‘delete everything’ button. Why is it OK to do that type of stuff online when, if it were to happen in real life, the ensuing violence would probably earn you a spot in the opening credits of Cops? Nevertheless, I’m sticking with this Facebook fad for now and we’ll see how quickly some identity thief gets a credit card in my name and charges up $2,000 in donkey scat porn. Because I’d never do anything like that.

So, yeah, by all means, friend me. But I’m not gonna do all that “25 Things You Didn’t Wanna Know About Me” and join your “I Like Beets” fan club. At least for now. Ask me again in about six months.