OR An Uncomfortable Journey of Self-Re-Discovery Along Facebook Timeline
OR The Well of Self-Hatred Never Runs Dry
I have recently been forced on a walk down memory lane, taken an unsolicited journey of self discovery, and suffered a deeply personal history enema. That last metaphor is one of mine. I wonder if it’ll catch on?
If you’re blissfully unaware, the social networking giant Facebook has forced all its peons into a regimented new system. Some people are born with Timeline, some people achieve Timeline, and some people have Timeline foisted upon them. I am of the latter subset, and we’re all quite annoyed about it. We’re the upset subset.
Those for whom Social Networking is a fun, active pastime will already have jumped at the chance to have a big splash picture accompanying their head-in-a-square, but for the rest of us (the Resistant, the Hesitant and the Uninterested) Facebook Timeline is now the best option out of a choice of one. For someone who is depicted to be the face at the forefront of the future,1 Zuckerberg seems to be obsessed with the past – specifically that time a few months ago before Faceberg went public and everyone could see exactly how financially ramshackle it is.2
Zuckerbook’s newest bright ideaTM charts your history on the site, as well as extending deep into the past to your birth, or if your parents are a particular type of Facebucker, your conception. It’s intent was presumably to provide users with a personal history book, celebrating their life’s achievements and zeniths and witty statuses and offering a nostalgic stream of highlights: your very own Greatest Hits record.
What it actually is is a perfect time-capsule of your lowest lows and most public failures.
I’m on Facebook, and I can just about stand it. I’ve avoided many of the archetypal Social Lepers that plague the site.3 I have my own uses for the network; my favourite thing about social networking is that it allows me to add a numeric value to my popularity and measure it accordingly.4
Now, however, I am confronted with all my past misdeeds, evidence of arseholery and endless, increasingly demoralizing photographs of my own nauseating face. According to the Grand Exulted Overlord Zuckerberg and all his little wizards, I had until August the 8th to systematically delete all that I’m ashamed of, which is everything.5
Through extensive research into the last five years, I have discovered that I am an astronomical prick.6
To be honest, I suspected this already, but I’ve learned that it’s true for for an entirely different set of reasons than previously thought. I’ve had to sit down and ask myself some very serious questions:
- Why is past-me such a prat?
- When did I stop being such a prat?
- Will future-me look back at this in five years time and think that present-me is a prat? (Definitely.)
- Is there anything I can do to quell the righteous self-hatred of future-me in advance?
- Does voicing these thoughts make me look as mental as I think it does?
- Is future-me a delusional mental prat too?
Anyway, you didn’t come here to read my witterings – you came here for salacious secrets and uncomfortable truths.7 Without further ado; may I present what I believe is my first proper blog-list:
Uncomfortable Truths and Lessons Learnt About Myself due to Obligatory Facebook Timeline
- I joined Facebook to play a pirate game with my friend Paul. That game has escalated into a hideous social networking beast that I am unable to slay. I am not a pirate and neither is he, so on top of that, it was futile.
- Apparently, a relationship, however farcical, is a more important life event than meeting all but two of my best friends, living with said best friends, going to university, winning an award for my design work and meeting four of my heroes. A relationship is on par with being born.
- I was at one point deemed worthy of a relationship.
- I can now calculate precisely how long said relationships lasted for, and judge myself accordingly.
- My last girlfriend has managed to delete our existence as a Facebook-Official couple long before I had timeline forced on me. This is annoying because I wanted to do it.
- Alcohol does horrible things to me. (Refer to previous point.)
- I only learned to spell/communicate without resorting to slang in 2008, or maybe I was bring ironic. Irony does not age well, and I look like a moron.
- I twice did those bullrubbish cryptic statuses that don’t mean anything. Fortunately no one cared.
- I cared about my old band for much longer than was necessary or welcome.
- The flyers that I designed for bands five years ago are so depressingly untalented that I deserve to be disemboweled, or at least sacked.
- McDonalds warrants a status update.
- It snows occasionally, and I recorded it for posterity. Nobody else ever does this so it’s a good job I did.
- I have only been funny since April 2010. Thanks to FB, my first joke told to the public is preserved for posterity. Unfortunately, it is topical, so it is no longer funny.8
Here it is. It concerns the run-up to the last British general election. Gordon Brown was the Prime Minister Incumbent and ‘The Mirror’ is a particularly unethical tabloid rag.
- In 2010, I thought this was funny:
- I still think that’s funny. I’m bringing it back.9
- In February 2011 I went to an art exhibition so shit it became a ‘life event’.
- Best Friend Dan and I had an impromptu hat making competition in honour of the Royal Wedding in April 2011. Mine was three feet tall and had a paper Will and Kate and a banner saying ‘Eee! It’s a Right Royal Wedding Celebration Hat’ on it and a tiny crown on a stick as its centrepiece. It was a hat so awesome it had it’s own hat. Dan’s was a plastic sandwich carton with some penlids in it stuck to his head with tape. I do not regret this at all.
- In late 2010 I spent four consecutive nights chronicling the adventures of the homeless people who camped in the band stand in the park over the road from my flat. They would do a lot of drugs and sing Lady Gaga and Bohemian Rhapsody til 3am. One of them shat in another’s sleeping bag.
- I have dreadful haircuts.
- I have dreadful fashion sense.
- I have dreadful taste in everything.
- I am pathetic and have achieved nothing.
Thanks a lot, Zuckerballs.
1 Because Justin Timberlake said so, and as we all know, The Social Network was 100% accurate.
2 Can you smell that satire? It smells good doesn’t it. Want to come back to my place and take a sideways look at the week’s news?
3 Here’s a checklist: the Excitable Superfan, the Activist, the Evangelist, da GramMMartick CRimmiNul, the Over-Sharer, the Promoter, The Self-Fetishist, The Passive-Aggressive Problem Child, the Comedian LOL, the Fundamentally Unstable Relationship, the 24-Hour Party Person, the Chest-Exhibitor, the Twat, etc. Please comment and add your own!
4 ‘If the numbers go up, you’re having more fun!’ – Calvin off of Calvin & Hobbes.
5 I could leave, but I don’t hate Facebook nearly half as much as I do Twitter, and anyway, how else would I show all my nemeses and ex-girlfriends that I’M DOING FINE.
6 Not literally – an astronomical prick would be hideous. It probably is a constellation though…
7 Unless the opposite is true, in which case you’re about to be sorely disappointed.
8 This is another sample of satire, however, it is two years old. Satire does not age well. It still smells, but now it smells like a stale trump. Or Donald, as he’s known to his friends. HELLO! We’re back in the game!
9 I’m also bringing back the phrase ‘bringing it back’.