A pressing existential question in the current modern consciousness is When do you quit Facebook? Is it when you become too annoyed by the inane status updates of your “friends”? Is it when you get hacked? Is it when you get fired for inappropriate Facebooking? Or is it when you read an article in the New York Post in which they’ve located the most obnoxious Facebookers ever (you know, the ones with maxed-out 5,000 friend quotas who are also pals with Tinsley Mortimer) and dub them “the city’s quasi-celebs — uber-extroverts who share their lives with strangers….a new hybrid of private and public person, who fall on the fame spectrum somewhere between Gaga and the average Joe”?
Now, while pretty much everyone in the world, or at least New York, falls on the fame spectrum between Gaga and the average Joe, and while we’d dispute the argument that having abnormally large numbers of Facebook friends put you in the “cool crowd,” it’s always fascinating to see how the other half lives. Plus, this piece does have some servicey merit, since there is no way you want to become friends with any of them, right? Well, anyway, you can’t.
But you can take in their wisdom and advice, which seems, in most cases, to be not to have 5,000 Facebook friends. A synopsis:
From Paul Johnson Calderon (reality-TV friend of Tinsley Mortimer): FACEBOOK IS CONFUSING. “I don’t know what to do with Facebook right now,” he says. “It’s too confusing. I’m much more into Twitter.”
From “King Kamali” (professional bodybuilder and married dude): FACEBOOK IS A TOUGH PLACE FOR SUCH A HANDSOME MAN AS ME. “It’s unbelievable the amount of girls that want to meet up and get crazy. When they know you’re married, it’s even worse. Then they know you’re just a toy.”
From Anna Evans (model and burlesque dancer): FACEBOOK IS INSUFFERABLY PRUDISH. Due to a racy photo, Evan’s page was deleted and then reinstated. While she says she’s now careful not to post pictures of herself nude, she knows other people might. There’s only so much she can do, she says: “I just really don’t like wearing clothes.”
From Sara Benincasa (comedian and radio-show host): FACEBOOK IS FOR SELF-PROMOTING WITH PEOPLE I DON’T ACTUALLY LIKE. “I only have about six or seven genuinely close friends,” she says, “and I keep up with them offline, in the real world.”
From DeStorm Power (singer/songwriter/Internet star): FACEBOOK IS WHERE I’M FAMOUS. “I’m an online celebrity…but a lot of people have never heard of me,” says Power. “Which means I can still walk the streets and live my life but maintain a celebrity status.”
Weirdly, despite the many, many Facebook friends of each of the people interviewed, none of them seem — er — happy, do they? They also all seem to use Facebook less as a place to connect with actual friends and more like it’s their own personal page for The Brand of Me, which maybe is how we all use Facebook, to some degree, and maybe why we’re all kinda discontented with it.
On the very day of the Post‘s exploration into the Facebook-friended elite, the Awl reports that the American Customer Satisfaction Index gives Facebook one of the lowest ranks of any company, in the bottom 5 percent of all private sector companies, and in the same range as the IRS tax e-filing system, airlines, and cable companies. Which means, maybe, that the IRS is the new Facebook. Go forth and friend!
By the way, having 5,000 or more Twitter followers is totally cool, because they’re called followers and not “friends.” Right?