My Facebook wall is filled with friends, and acquaintances, and people I used to know eons ago who somehow found me again and decided to reconnect without reconnecting. And they say the wildest things sometimes, some kind of over-sharing that’s become popular these days. They post photographs of themselves in various stages of undress, in smiles and frowns, and in spite of having no proper lighting or effects. Their words are at the same time personal and disconnected because they are obviously catering to the masses while also trying to keep it real, whatever that means.
My Facebook wall lies to me early and often on days that end in -y because human nature is to make ourselves out to be more than the sum of our parts. When we aren’t. I scroll through the endless stream of posts as they constantly update and I notice patterns. This friend is angry at everyone for ignoring her, and that acquaintance is upset that no one seems to understand her, and those five friends are having a private conversation in the public domain. They speak of failed relationships, of simmering anger, and of utter joy at being included in something — anything.
My Facebook wall is a complex mosaic of links to quizzes that remind me of Seventeen magazine when the questions were all intended to lead us to our soulmates. It has numerous quotes that are sometimes pithy but are at other times mundane and typical. “When life gives you lemons, take them. Free shit is cool.” I understand why that should be funny, but I don’t necessarily find it funny even though it’s been shared by five of my nearest and dearest Facebook associates already, and has probably made it halfway around the world by now. And it is always accompanied by an “LOL.”
And the selfies. Oh the selfies. There are the disaffected selfies, the ones where she looks bored with the whole exercise although she’s made herself up to look almost clownish before snapping the shot. Then come the bathroom selfies where you can see the duck-themed shower curtain and the open toilet in the background. Last but not least is the preening selfie where he flexes his “muscles” for the camera, and then sits back to wait for the Likes. These selfies are shameless attempts to prove self-worth in whatever way we can. Because we can’t help it.
My Facebook wall is sometimes lame, sometimes eclectic, and sometimes makes me cover my eyes, but it’s never boring. Maybe that’s because when I somehow got individuals together from all walks of life whose one central connection happened to be me it made for strange wallfellows, and yet somehow it all works. As I scroll through all the words, and pictures, and Likes, and birthday messages I am reminded of who I am and why I felt these people were special enough to Friend, or to accept their Friendship in the first place.
My Facebook wall is a way of staying connected, if just by the thinnest of threads, to humanity, but also a way of staying connected to me.