This month, courtesy of Facebook, many of us are busy parsing randomly ordered names of our online contacts into fictional, precompiled categorical lists, often with hilarious results. It's like a social-networking-y version of Madlibs! The future truly is now.
For instance, one meme has you pretend you're a human combatant fighting in an apocalyptic zombie war. Then, the first person on your Facebook "Friends" list is your loyal sidekick, the second is the gung-ho, weapon-heavy warrior, the third is the bumbling fool who trips and gets eaten, and so forth. You post the resulting list as a status update, misuse Facebook's "tag" feature to notify your friends that they've been mentioned, and let the fun begin!
Other versions include putting their unwitting participants in imaginary slasher films, crime organizations, strip clubs, etc.
As memes go, it's an easily imitable one, with a format that invites endless mimicry. So, this month, those of us who are not busy filling out the categorical lists themselves are busy coming up with our own categorical lists. It's meta!
Here's my first attempt:
Imagine you're not a zombie killer, or at a strip club, or anything interesting like that. Instead, imagine you're spending way too much time on Facebook. Then, use the first seven entries in your "Friends" list to fill out the following:
1. The person you have actually met, face-to-face, in real life:
2. The public figure you vaguely support on principle, but whose updates you never bother to read:
3. The person you've never actually met, but who may be a valuable contact one day for your social/professional aspirations:
4. The classmate you rarely spoke to during your traumatic high school years, but who seems OK today, and with whom your random FB exchanges might even be therapeutic or something:
5. The one who keeps sending you those MafiaFarmPokerWars game requests you always ignore:
6. The marketing drone posing as a local business/restaurant whose friend request you accepted because you once shopped/dined there:
7. The strange hottie who has so many suggestive profile photos you've wondered whether or not he/she is using the site for, uh ... business purposes:
Of course, this version is much too long for a Facebook status update. So I had to painfully and laboriously cut it down.
Still, the short version hefts in at 467 characters, just 33 characters short of Facebook's 500-character status-update limit. So I doubt it will actually take off as a real meme -- anybody who bothered to fill it out would end up frustrated. Or, they'd have to post it as a dreaded "Note" ... which is rarely the gateway to popularity for today's Facebook meme.
If I were serious about it, my best option would be to further cut it down to five names/categories, rather than seven. But now I have new respect for those who come up with successful Facebook memes. Hats off to you memers!
Brandon's Big Gay Blog