Monday, May 02, 2011

It's a Virtual Dinner Party

I was just thinking about Facebook yesterday: why I love it so, why it suits my personality and how I use it. I came to the conclusion that it's like a big online party where all the conversations that are being had are visible at the same time, all my friend groups, from all walks of life are there and I can ask any question and get a response at almost any time of day.

This weekend I saw a movie and they previewed another movie while I was there. I decided I REALLY want to see it. I immediately thought about posting it on Facebook..."Anyone see this yet?" On Facebook, the responses would most likely be many within minutes. If I wanted to efficiently accomplish this same goal at a party, I would have to wait until a weekend day when I was invited to a party, wait until the subject comes up in conversation, and then repeat this process and infinitum until I had found at least one person who had seen the movie. Wait. Wait. Wait. Anyone who knows me knows this is not a strength of mind, that thing called patience.

Facebook is a world of online gratification that is absolutely perfect for a praise junkie like me. I love to show and tell about my life. It can be a bit much, this passion I have for reporting on the details of my life, and Facebook it turns out, is a oversharer's paradise. I photograph pictures of my food (hey, I grew up in an Italian family who orbited around their next meals) and people "like" them or post about them. Some even tell me how crazy I am for always posting pictures of my food (like I don't know this).

Facebook is an outlet for my overzealous self-centeredness. But, ironically, it has helped me to be less self-centered and more self-confident in my offline life. People exposing their idiosyncratic thoughts, passions and quirks online has helped me immensely to deal with a host of inner wackiness. It's also a great place to try out jokes and stories. If you post something and it gets fifteen likes and a bunch of comments, maybe it's something that has been beta-tested and can be pulled through the looking glass and into real life.

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