Ah November. For some reason this month spawns some of the funniest Internet behavior. I realize few of you pay attention as much as I do, which is likely why you are my friend and not an internet basement troll with Cheetos on your chest. Thank you for that. However somehow, I’m able to pay ample attention and remain mostly Cheeto-free. What can I say, I’m a multi-tasker. You’re welcome.
Before I begin, please note: I’m a blog writer, therefore my (notice the mention of self frequently in “I,” “me,” and “myself,”) narcissism will always trump yours, so there’s no need to get offended. This is all in good fun and I love reading your posts, you beautiful person, you.
Some of the most entertaining social media trends I’ve noticed this month include:
1) 7, 9 or 14 things you never knew about me
3) Posting something to be thankful for every day
The first of these silly trends is engulfing my Facebook feed like a bad radio jingle engulfs the brain, the short witty posts taken over by long, LONG paragraphs of information about people I either know extremely well, or don’t know at all. (“Why do you have Facebook friends you don’t know very well Joni? Isn’t that dangerous?” No, I’m not afraid of machines and I never watched poltergeist.) What’s funny is this really isn’t an exercise of your narcissism, but rather of mine.
Whenever I read one of those posts, I feel like I can pat myself on the back when, “Ah HA! I knew that about you!!!” I’m a champion. I’m a knower of knowledge you deem interesting enough to post publically to the world, but not so much to SAY it out loud to most people in person. Wait…that’s not much of an accomplishment at all…but for some reason I really do feel fantastic when I know that thing. Like a test of our friendship that I passed and yay, I win.
After celebration and cheering that I know things, I then realize that hardly any of these posts are really that revealing. This is the Internet after all and we have an image to manage. Of course posters are going to select cute flattering things like, “I had 12 boyfriends in high school and not one of them dumped me,” or “I went to the Olympics and I won it all,” or “I can play 9 instruments with my feet.” Those do take up most of these posts, although I have read some that are truly sad and well, I just can’t comment on that. I’m sorry that happened to you and would like to extend my e-hug here and now.
Although there is something lacking. I have yet to see posts revealing the DUI’s I know you have, the “I made out with my 60 year old math teacher,” or the “I wet the bed till I was 11.” Step it up people! Give us the good stuff. I think we could improve this game immensely if just one of those “revealing” somethings was of an embarrassing nature. If the purpose of posting these things was really so we could get to know the writer better, then share away.
“OK Joni, why don’t you write one?” Fool, I have a blog, you know more than enough about me.
A long, long time ago, back before we were writing years that started with “20,” a friend of mine started a website. He gathered all the dudes he knew and asked them to shave their faces on October 31, and made them promise to not shave again until December 1st. A catch to this challenge was they had to take a picture of themselves every single day, preferably in the same place with the same expression, and post this image to the website he doth coined, “Novembeard.”
I thought it was the damn near funniest thing I’d ever heard. Fortunately the fella I was with at the time was beard-growing-inept, so I didn’t suffer much of the consequences of this challenge and could simply enjoy the sport of it.
All the said, what the HELL is Movember??? I understand it has some of the same premises as Novembeard, but it has this terrible Mo-town feel to it, and damn it I hate disco. Where’s the structure? Novembeard was so easy….shave, grow, picture, post, girlfriends are stuck with lumberjacks for a month, the end. Even the name was obvious…in November we grow beards, ergo Novem + beard. It’s so simple. Movember just sounds like Puff Daddy or P Diddy or whatever had mo money and mo problems in movember. And that’s a terrible song and I don’t want to think about it for an entire month.
Or maybe, is “Mo” someone’s confused way of trying to spell “Mustache” and got frustrated by the second letter and gave up? Or are we skipping all the fun parts of Novembeard and just pissing off girls for the month of November by subjecting us to nasty patchy facial hair?
Someone please explain this to me. I don’t know. I’m confused. Friend who started Novembeard, I think you have some work to do.
3) Posting Something to be Thankful for Everyday
I think this trend has a good spirit to it. You’re doing a great job trying to see the cup half full and I appreciate you for it. Somewhat on this topic, I watched an interview of Dave Matthews recently, and love or hate the guy, he made a good point. He was asked if he was the type of person who sees the world as half full or half empty. Loosely transcribed…
“Half empty or half full…what’s the fucking difference? Regardless of your answer, you have the same amount of whatever in a cup.”
It is in fact the same amount of whatever in a cup. I know, I know, it’s all about perception and attitude, and that’s what this whole thing is about. However it also suffers some of the same consequences as #1, as often times it kiiiiinda sounds like bragging.
“I am so grateful for this fatty diamond ring on my finger!”
“I have the hottest girlfriend alive,”
“I have traveled all over the world while you sat at your desk, sssssucker.”
Emphasis added. What can I say, I’m happy for you and the things that you’re grateful for and your ability to share it. But there’s something that prevents my ability to do it. It’s not that I don’t have things to be grateful for, because I do. I just simply can’t post something without thinking about someone I know who doesn’t have that thing and how my post might make them feel bad.
Which happens to me. I read some of these posts and some make me sad. Yes, I’m 30, divorced and have no children. But YAY you already have 4 kids and your spouse is loaded and you don’t work. Worse still are those bastards who post about their exotic travels around the world, to far reaching places and blah blah blah…my jealousy overfloweth. Yes that’s totally my problem, and I can simply hit hide, but I don’t want to hide you from my life. Hence, I don’t want to do that to others. I don’t live a glamorous or really very interesting life at all, but I’m sure there’s someone out there who finds it mildly interesting or even envy worthy. I don’t want to be the reason for envy if I can help it.ility to do it. It’s not that I don’t have things to be grateful for, because I do. I just simply can’t post something without thinking about someone I know who doesn’t have that thing and wants that thing and how my post might make them feel bad.
All that said, social media is a silly, hairy place to be in November. I honestly think we are really bored in November, feeling a little frisky, funky, and that’s what sparks all of this. On Halloween we are encouraged to be absolutely insane, dress like whoever we want and let our imaginations run wild. After Halloween we know that Christmas is around the corner, but we fight every urge to not be the weirdo who hangs their Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving. Just…say…NO…
So our imaginations are running wild and we have nothing to do. Men grow out their facial hair for some god forsaken reason, and the whole of us are busy posting things about ourselves. I do like reading about you and just kidding when I joke that you’re somewhat full of yourself. I honestly think people need more outlets for this kind of self-expression. Ta-daaaaa, that’s why I haz blog. I can’t tell you how freeing it is to sit here all the time and word vomit and even better when people say they like it. I encourage you to keep going and share away, well beyond November…but also request that we get at least one good bed wetting story every now and then.