Yesterday, in a fit of procrastination, I read every single “25 things” that my friends — and yes, friends of friends — had posted to Facebook in the last week. I didn’t have to. I could have ignored them like so much of what shows up on my feed (lil’ eco racer, I’m talking to you).
But I was enjoying myself. I laughed out loud reading people’s lists. I found myself liking — and, sure, occasionally disliking — certain people more than I realized. My acquaintances, by and large, seem to be much funnier or smarter or more interesting than previously thought.
I don’t share Claire’s contempt for the people on my friend’s list. If I did, I wonder, why would I spend time on Facebook at all? Why does she?
It’s not for everyone, I know. And I wouldn’t fault someone for feeling like it’s a giant waste of time. But I don’t understand why Claire doesn’t unfriend some of those distant contacts she has no interest in hearing from, or just ignore their silly posts like the rest of us do. Or, if all of it bothers her so much, why not stay off Facebook completely. It’s not mandatory, after all.
Maybe it’s just that I’m living in a huge city, far from home, where I know almost no one, but it made me happy — and comforted — to read these stream of consciousness exercises. I don’t fault someone for not sharing my amusement — for not reading mine or writing their own. Not everyone has the abundance of procrastination time that I do, or the ability to use it in the most trivial ways.
But I don’t understand Claire’s scorn.
Before “25 Things” was everyone on her Facebook posting articles about Darfur and status updates that read like poetry? What about this particular exercise seems more ridiculous than sending a “poke,” answering a movie quiz, or rating which of your friends is hottest? Facebook is such a cluttered world of applications, requests, updates and postings, we all make decisions about what to read or watch or play there. We all ignore a fair amount of what shows up on our screen.
So, the question I have is why Claire didn’t just ignore the 25 Things that she didn’t want to know? Then again, I think I know why.