This morning, as I have increasingly found myself doing, I logged into Facebook to see who had invited me to groups that I will never join and who had invited me to add applications that I will never use. There was nothing – Soooo, being slightly bored and random I found myself looking at my own profile. There was a box on it which asked people to click whether they were interested in me or not (although it didn’t say interested in what way… Which is odd in itself). I investigated this further, but in order to proceed I had to invite some friends to join the application, 10 to appear on something or other and at least 20 to appear on listings. At the cost of not appearing on any searches I eventually found a skip button and found the bits which would tell me whether any of my friends were interested in me. They weren’t. For a brief moment there my self-esteem levels dropped and I felt a little miffed that not a single one of my 148 friends found me in any way interesting.
There is another bit that I had never seen before too, though where do these boxes come from? I am sure I ignore and block most applications I am invited to join. The other section was something called “Compare People” in which your friends compare you with their other friends, in order to produce league tables.
The top of this section told me the rankings of lots of my friends in categories such as Hottest (Laura), Smartest (Johanna), Most Desirable (Johanna), Best Personality (Johanna) and Best To Work With (Johanna). In case you were wondering, it also tells me that this apparent all around Goddess called Johanna is also the most organized and the most punctual. It doesn’t tell me that she is the most likely to be mistaken for an 8 year old Munchkin which is where I would list her (Nothing personal Johanna, I love you, but you won’t ever have to pay an adult fare until you are about 30).
This unusually large section now moves onto “Where do I fit?” and proceeds to give me rankings that my friends have given me.
This is where my friends ranked me:
Pos Category win%
1st is more confident 100%
1st is a better listener 85%
1st is funnier 83%
1st is more famous 100%
1st has a better profile picture 100%
3rd is more likely to win in a fight 83%
Right! I object! I can accept “More Famous” (though I would correct it to infamous) and I can feel flattered by some of the other ones but what is this 3rd “Is more likely to win in a fight”? Which of my friends couldn’t I beat in a fight? Why do my friends think I would lose these fights? WHAT ARE THEY THINKING? I SHOULD CORRECT THEM AT ONCE!
Aaah, and here’s the rub… I am falling for the psychological hooks of social networking, something that Facebook are very quickly mastering and overtaking Myspace in leaps and bounds with (Oi, leave my trailing prepositions alone). I am starting to compare myself to other people on the site and being tempted to do something about it – Next I will be writing about it in a weblog, and urging more people to vote for me or something and then I will be part of the whole social networking avalanche and heading quickly towards the shitty coloured pile at the bottom of the mountain.
I have found the “hide box” button, I no longer see the application and I am no longer tempted to go deeper into its bowels to see a full breakdown of who has placed me where, and why; nor am I tempted to rank my friends or be mean to the ones who ranked me differently to how I would have liked.
Facebook… You can have my intimate personal details but for now, at least, you can’t have my soul.