Ashik Siddique ’10 sends in a NYTimes editorial by a 2007 Dartmouth grad talking about–what else–Facebook. Specifically, how it’s the bane of Western civilization or something. Also, Wes is apparently famous for our ridiculous class titles?
I’ve always thought of Facebook as online community theater. In costumes we customize in a backstage makeup room — the Edit Profile page, where we can add a few Favorite Books or touch up our About Me section — we deliver our lines on the very public stage of friends’ walls or photo albums. And because every time we join a network, post a link or make another friend it’s immediately made visible to others via the News Feed, every Facebook act is a soliloquy to our anonymous audience.
It’s all comedy: making one another laugh matters more than providing useful updates about ourselves, which is why entirely phony profiles were all the rage before the grown-ups signed in. One friend announced her status as In a Relationship with Chinese Food, whose profile picture was a carry-out box and whose personal information personified the cuisine of China.
We even make a joke out of how we know one another — claiming to have met in “Intro to Super Mario Re-enactments,” which I seriously doubt is a real course at Wesleyan, or to have lived together in a “spay and neuter clinic” instead of the dorm. Still, these humor bits often reveal more about our personalities and interests than any honest answers.