Thursday, February 21, 2008


Now I'm over there, too. I'm not really sure if Facebook is really any kind of improvement on MySpace... and anyone who's known me for more than five minutes knows how much I hate every aspect of MySpace... but at least Facebook isn't a horrible, ghastly eyesore and extremely cynical popularity contest rolled into one. That would be MySpace.

I'd like to think that, at any rate. Is it possible that now that MySpace is in decline and with Facebook ascendant that Facebook could generate its own, say, Tila Tequila? Possibly. But even though both sites are fundamentally built on the premise of (shudder) social networking, something about the basic design of MySpace allowed it to mutate from a fairly clever band promotional tool into the ultimate high school yearbook signature collector's wet dream - a seemingly never ending parade of acquaintances that you can collect and tally like pogs.

No doubt, Facebook is too cute by half - and anyone who's signed up on it with any 'adult' goals of career advancement or any shit like that is seriously deluding themselves. My sister, possibly the most directed and career-minded person I know, has a page for her fucking cats. Which should give you some indication of what it really is - just a nicely tricked out, simply designed place for people to have a place to hang out online. Yesenia has put it to good use, finding friends she hasn't seen since high school, which is both a tribute to the easy search functionality of Facebook's networks, and also a comment on the unworkability of sites actually dedicated to keeping classmates in touch online - such as, oh, what's it called... Classmates?

But so what if people want to engage in a little trivial quiz about which Desperate Housewife they might be, and then post the results for everyone else to see? Really, the impulse behind it is no different than what I do with the Rambler every night. "Here's what I'm thinking about! Whee! Look at me, everybody!" In other words, it's a place to relax and play and just be a kid again. And what's wrong with that?

That's probably the big difference I see between Facebook and MySpace. The latter is, as noted, deeply, deeply cynical about human nature. What more proof do you need than the fact that it's now owned by Rupert Murdoch? But Facebook seems to be blissfully free of pessimism. Sure, it's goofy. Sure, it has little opportunity for genuine creativity. Sure, the way people trick out their pages with 'just whatever' has the potential to shade into cloyingness. Sure, it's probably another networking fad that will fade and be replaced by ',' but so what? It's all oddly sweet.

Anyhow, the best I could hope is to find a couple of more people to speak to as well, like Yesenia, since I seem to be running out of friends everywhere else. I wonder why?


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