If my Facebook Friends list looks a bit pedo, it's because I get friended by many young people who meet me at conventions. Not entirely sure why, but if it's because they hope I'm as dorky in real life as I am on stage, well... err, let's change the subject.
In any case, I generally welcome it because their infusion into my Newsfeed keeps me in touch with the thoughts and vibes of our unavoidable future. But what I mainly take away is that teen and twenty-something behavior hasn't changed so much since my day, as much as the outlets for said behavior.
I present Exhibit A: The Crush.
Longing for someone you can't have is healthy and normal, and in school-age, even cute... up to a point. This "point" is determined by how much or how often you call attention to your crush. Here is where technology may hurt more than help. Waxing wistfully about your wishful victim among your small group of close friends at school or on the phone is how it was, and still is, within the traditionally-safe zones of moderation. Facebook, of course, now allows you to share your crush with not just your three closest friends, but all three thousand of them. Still, I'm willing to concede this is the new "normal", no Luddite I. So when my FB Newsfeed flashes me someone's occasional share of a shirtless, hairless, distinguishing-featureless Bieberesque of the month, I take it in stride and scroll on. But when the very next post is another photo of the same toy boy, and the next and the next, a few warning flags go up. First, dear crusher, did you consider that not all of your FB friends are fellow frustrated teen girls, and for the rest of us, one, perhaps two photos of these cookie-cutter pubescents is the maximum tolerance for our digestive systems? And second, did you really want all your friends to know you're so desperately lonely, on your way to full-fledged stalker? This is how big a difference one (or nine) too many photos of your crush can convey. So, for the benefit of all my Millennial FB friends, I humbly offer:
Ken's Handy Guide to Posting Your Crush1 Post
Conscious Reaction: Okay, yeah, I can see it.
Unconscious Reaction: Normal, healthy, maybe cute
2 Posts in a row
Conscious Reaction: Whatever floats your boat
Unconscious Reaction: Could get out a bit more
3 Posts in a row
Conscious Reaction: Shouldn't you be studying?
Unconscious Reaction: Hope she doesn't know his email
4 Posts in a row
Conscious Reaction: Wow, stalker much?
Unconscious Reaction: Step AFK and masturbate already.
Now, given how a younger generation is inclined to heed the experience and wisdom of an older, I don't expect to meet a lot of agreement with my suggestion, much less compliance. In fact, the most recent girl with whom I addressed this behavior countered, inexplicably, by calling me a hypocrite. Clearly not knowing the definition of the word, she nevertheless unfriended me and spared me a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent. And this is probably the best I can expect from anyone else in the similar situation. If you can't keep your stalker-crush reasonably in your panties, just unfriend me before you broadcast your dozen posts about him and save us both the headache.
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